Nick being brought home to No. 26 by a police Sergeant who tells Jim that Nick was caught defacing property, has been charged and will have to appear in court.
Beverly stares at Jim and comments that she thought he said Nick had *given up* his bad habits. Jim replies that he *has* – or he *thought* he had. Helen exclaims that she doesn't understand it: there must be something terribly wrong. Jim says sternly that he's going to find out what it is. He heads through to the kitchen, leaving Helen to assure Beverly that Nick *is* a good boy. She then suggests to Todd that he go and do his homework. With that, she and Beverly head into the kitchen, where Jim is demanding to know from Nick what's going on. Nick retorts:
NICK: I was just bored, OK?
JIM (yells): OK? No, it is *not* OK. We gave you our trust, our protection, we invited you into our home...
NICK (snaps): It's got nothing to do with you.
JIM (furiously): If a policeman drags you up to my front door, it has EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ME.
Helen warns Jim to give Nick some time; give him a chance and he might tell them what happened. Jim snaps:
JIM: We already *know* what happened: he betrayed our trust. [To Nick] What would your grandmother say about *that*?
NICK (furiously): I don't *care* what you think. I don't care what *anybody* thinks. Why don't you just leave me alone?
With that, he storms off. Jim goes to follow him, but Helen stops him, asking him if he can't see that Nick is upset. She adds that she'll take full responsibility for the boy's behaviour if Jim will just give him a chance to calm down. Jim sighs heavily and then murmurs that it'll give *him* a chance to calm down as well. Beverly sits down at the kitchen table, looking worried.
Sharon is sitting on the couch with Mike – who's coaching her on Maths – and Des. Bronwyn emerges from the bedroom area and announces that Jamie is fast asleep. Des offers her a cuppa, and she smiles that that would be lovely. As Des heads over to the kitchen area, Bronwyn smiles at Sharon:
BRONWYN: I always thought Maths was your *best* subject, Shaz...
SHARON: Oh, it was *today*, that's for sure – but only because Mike coached me last night. You know, it's amazing how much more you learn when you've got a great teacher!
BRONWYN (sarcastically): Yes. Amazing...!
She goes and joins Des at the kitchen counter and he asks her how she went with that bloke who distributes the toy drums. Bronwyn, however, says there's nothing yet: she's rung a few times, but there was no answer. Des suggests to her that she give the guy a tinkle *now*, and so she picks up the ‘phone. While she calls, Mike tells Des that if he needs him for the Coffee Shop tomorrow, he hasn't got any lectures so he's free. Sharon smiles at Mike:
SHARON: You should come in anyway, Mike, to keep me company!
Over on the ‘phone, Bronwyn raises her voice, saying angrily:
BRONWYN: That's not a very responsible attitude. ... Yeah, well, we'll see about *that*, mate.
With that, she hangs up the ‘phone angrily and exclaims that the guy flatly refused to take the drum off the market; he said the child wasn't his responsibility. Sharon asks her what she's going to do. Mike suggests that she could ring Consumer Affairs, and Bronwyn nods that she will – although it'll be like starting all over again, as they'll have to do their own investigation which could take weeks. Sharon asks who *else* she can turn to. Bronwyn shrugs:
BRONWYN: I don't know.
MIKE (looking thoughtful): I think *I* do...
MIKE: Just let me have a talk to them first – see if they *can* help.
With that, Mike stands up and heads out, leaving Bronwyn looking at a puzzled Des.
Henry and Scott head through from the kitchen into the lounge room, Henry sighing that he just can't believe he could get the sack for bouncing a drunk; this Morris guy's a *creep*. Scott asks what he's been up to. Henry tells him:
HENRY: He's on some power trip. You give him an inch, he wants to be a ruler!
There's suddenly a rapid knocking on the front door and Henry and Scott both dash to answer it. Mike is standing on the step and Henry and Scott both tell him quickly to be quiet, as Harold and Madge have hit the sack. Mike turns to Scott and asks him if he could give him and Bronwyn a hand. Scott invites him to take a set. Mike then explains:
MIKE: You know how I bought that toy drum for Jamie and it's faulty? Well, Bronwyn managed to get the retailer to take the rest of them off the shelves, but the importer won't budge, you see?
SCOTT: Right. And you want me to write it up?
MIKE: Well, that's if you can get the newspaper interested.
SCOTT: Yeah, I don't see why not. I mean, that's the type of thing that the media should be about.
Scott adds that he'll have a talk to Sandra Lloyd about it tomorrow morning. Mike thanks him, saying Bronwyn will be rapt! Looking suddenly curious, Henry says:
HENRY: Um... who are you doing this for, Mike?
MIKE: What do you mean?
HENRY: Jamie or Bronwyn?
MIKE: Well, Jamie. *All* kids, I guess.
HENRY (teases): Oh yeah?!
SCOTT (to Mike): Is there... like... is there something you're not, sort of, telling us...?!
Henry tells Mike not to get too hung- up: Bronwyn's not interested in getting serious. Scott, however, points out to Henry that Bronwyn might not be interested in *him*, but that doesn't stop Mike from having ‘the real thing'! Mike insists quickly that it's not *like* that. Henry just grins:
HENRY: Any girl who could knock back a guy like me must be well on the way to becoming a nun!
It's the middle of the night. Helen emerges from her bedroom and heads into the kitchen. She turns the light on – and finds Nick standing there, dressed and wearing a coat. Helen remarks to him that it's a bit late to be going out. Nick just retorts that he couldn't sleep. Helen walks over to him and asks him what he's hiding behind his back. Nick just mutters that that's *his* business. After a few seconds, though, he relents and reveals three cans of spray paint. Helen sighs:
HELEN: I see: the creative urge is upon you.
NICK: Look, it makes me feel better. I don't know why.
HELEN: Since it's already caused you trouble with the police, perhaps you should develop *another* outlet?
NICK: I don't *hurt* anybody.
HELEN: I thought you'd left all this *behind* you. It's much more fulfilling to paint on canvas than to pain on concrete. Why do you do it?
NICK (retorts): ‘Cos it makes me *feel* good.
HELEN: How would you feel facing the magistrate? I think your grandmother would be very hurt.
NICK (tears welling- up): Look, *nothing* can hurt her now...
HELEN (realising something's wrong): Nick...?
NICK (murmurs): She died this afternoon. What am I going to *do*? I didn't even get to say goodbye...
Nick collapses into Helen's arms, crying.
The next morning, Helen is serving breakfast to Jim, Beverly and Todd, saying she doesn't think she's ever seen anyone so upset. Beverly asks how Mrs. Page died and Helen tells her that it was emphysema complicated by pneumonia. Jim comments:
JIM: If only he'd've told us about it last night. I gave him such a hard time...
Helen, however, points out that he wasn't to know. She then tells everyone that, at this point, she thinks Nick really needs to feel wanted – so she thinks they should ask him to stay. Jim replies that he supposes that'll be all right – for a while. Helen, however, tells him:
HELEN: It's not a matter of ‘for a while', Jim – he needs a *family*.
BEVERLY (tersely): We already have two youngsters to look after – and there could be a *third*, one of these days...
Todd chips in that they *can't* chuck Nick out. Jim, however, explains that they're not sure they can make a full- time commitment to him. At that moment, Nick comes in and everyone says a subdued good morning. Jim tells him that they were very sorry to hear about his grandmother. Helen offers him some breakfast, but he declines, saying he's got to go the hospital: he's got some arrangements to make. Jim offers to drive him, but Nick just tells him to finish eating. With that, he heads out. Todd follows him. When they've gone, Jim comments:
JIM: Seems to be pulling himself together.
BEVERLY: Perhaps he *will* get through it all?
HELEN (sadly): You didn't see him last night. Underneath that tough exterior, there's a very frightened little boy.
Nick starts walking slowly down the street. Todd catches up with him and tells him that he knows how he feels. Nick mutters:
TODD (explains): When Katie and I first got to Erinsborough we didn't have anyone either – but the Robinsons took us in and gave us a new start.
NICK (retorts): Why *shouldn't* they? They're *family*, aren't they?
TODD: Only Aunt Bev!
NICK: If Jim married her, he married her family as well.
Nick then points out to Todd that *he* wasn't in trouble with the *cops*. Todd replies that he *was* in *trouble* – he did some pretty stupid things, like stealing food and causing trouble with the neighbours – and he and Katie ran away. He goes on:
TODD: All I'm saying is, it was hard for *all* of us to adjust – but they're good people; they'll understand.
NICK: Look, Todd, I know what you're doing – and thanks; I'm glad things worked out for you – but the Robinsons don't owe me a *thing*. As of now, I'm on my own.
With that, Nick walks off, leaving Todd looking worried.
Henry walks into an empty Coffee Shop. Sharon follows him in a few seconds later and Henry asks her in surprise what she's doing there. Sharon tells him that she's got some time to kill before school starts and she hasn't made any friends yet. The door opens again and Des comes in. He asks if Harold's still crook. Henry nods that Madge is carting him off to the doctor's today – and *he's* still available to fill in for him... Des smiles that he'll leave Henry to it! With that, he heads out again, leaving Henry to ask Sharon to help him open up. He hands her a tray of sauces to put on the tables. As she takes it, she remarks:
SHARON: It's a pity *Mike* won't be in today.
HENRY (a glint in his eye): And why's that?
SHARON: He's just so... so...
HENRY (grins): Sounds like he's won a heart!
SHARON: There's no one like him in Narrabri. Bronny thinks so too.
SHARON: Oh, you should see her when Mike's around – I can't even get *near* him.
The door opens again and a delivery man comes in, laden down with several boxes. Henry stares at him and asks if all that ice cream is for *them*. The man shrugs that he doesn't order it, he just delivers it. Henry asks who *did* order it. The man looks at a sheet of paper and tells him that it says ‘Clarke'. Henry takes the boxes and the man says he'll go and grab the other two lots! Henry stands there looking worried...!
Beverly hangs up the ‘phone on the desk in the lounge room. She then joins Jim and Helen in the kitchen and tells them that because Nick is sixteen, he's legally responsible for his own actions and *they're* under no obligation to take care of him. Helen exclaims that he has no family... he's still at school...; how can a boy like that be expected to fend for himself? Jim points out that Beverly didn't make the rules. Beverly says:
BEVERLY: Look, I realise Nick is going through a very bad time at the moment, and as far as I'm concerned he's welcome to stay here, at least until after the funeral – but I really don't think he could be a permanent member of this household.
Helen asks Jim what *he* thinks. Jim replies hesitantly:
JIM: Um... I think... we've been a very good influence on him.
HELEN (to Beverly): There... you see?
JIM: But in all honesty, Helen, I couldn't say for sure that he's *reformed* or anything.
HELEN: So you want to toss him out into the street as well?
JIM: Nobody wants that. It's just that we already have kids and they are our responsibility – and if Beverly feels that Nick is too much of a commitment for us to make at this stage, I'm afraid I have to back her up.
Helen stands there looking disappointed.
Bronwyn is walking with Mike – who's pushing Jamie in his pram – through the Lassiter's complex, commenting as she does so that there must be *better* ways for him to spend his day off than shopping with *her*! Mike just smiles that he's quite happy to place his arms at her disposal! Scott dashes over to them suddenly and thrusts a newspaper at them, grinning:
SCOTT: Have you seen page 5?
BRONWYN: Something of yours?
SCOTT: Yep – my article on Erinsborough history!
Bronwyn and Mike offer their congratulations. Scott adds that next week the paper will be running his story on the day in the life of a police station – on page 3! He goes on:
SCOTT: Also, I spoke to Sandra Lloyd about doing that article on the dodgy toy. She said it's a fantastic idea, it's got heaps of community interest... Guess what: she has given me the green light to do a follow- up on it!
Bronwyn throws her arms around Scott in delight! She thanks him – and she then thanks Mike as well, giving him a hug too! As she does so, Henry emerges from the Coffee Shop and grins:
HENRY: Hey... you've got to give me some of that aftershave, Mike!
Des walks over suddenly and asks Henry what the problem is. Henry tells him:
HENRY: Er, the ice cream order's arrived.
DES: You dragged me over here to tell me *that*?
HENRY: It's 144 litres.
DES (exclaims): A *hundred*? And you *accepted* it?
HENRY: Yeah, well, *you ordered it*!
Des tells Henry that he'll just have to get them to take it back. Henry, however, replies sheepishly that they won't take it because he signed the receipt. Des exclaims that they won't use that much in a *year*. Henry, however, says suddenly that they use it to stage a promotion: they can hold an ice- cream- eating competition using chopsticks!
Helen is sitting with Beverly at the kitchen table, telling her:
HELEN: The government will pay for the funeral. The hospital will help with that. You know, I think he'd prefer something a little more elaborate, but he won't even let me lend him the money.
BEVERLY: Don't get me wrong, Helen, I feel very *sorry* for Nick...
HELEN: Well, unfortunately he needs a little more than sympathy at the moment.
BEVERLY: But we've known him for such a short time. *I* certainly can't justify bringing a virtual stranger into the house like that.
The front door bangs suddenly and Todd comes in. Beverly asks him what he's doing home and he explains that he forgot his lunch and he didn't have any money with him. Beverly points out his lunch on the counter before turning back to Helen and saying:
BEVERLY: I'm also not sure that Nick will be a good influence.
HELEN: Beverly, how well did you know Katie and Todd before you took them in?
BEVERLY: But they're *family*. There's a big difference.
HELEN: They're still very lonely and frightened children.
BEVERLY: I *realise* that. Look, I wish there was something I could do for Nick – maybe there *is* – but I really don't think I could become his foster mother.
Over by the counter, an expression of disappointment crosses Todd's face. Helen murmurs at Beverly that she's made her position quite clear – so the only option *she* has is to move out and look after Nick herself. With that, she asks Beverly to excuse her, and she leaves the table. When she's gone, Todd joins Beverly and tells her tersely that he thinks she should give Nick a break. Beverly replies that she doesn't think he's old enough to understand the implications. Todd, however, retorts that he's old enough to understand what it's like to be alone. Beverly stares at him. He sits down and goes on:
TODD: When Katie and I first came here, neither of us thought we'd ever have a family again.
BEVERLY: But that's just the point I've been trying to *make*: we *are* family.
TODD: What if we weren't? What would happen then?
Beverly sits there looking thoughtful.
Bronwyn, Mike and Scott are pushing Jamie through the park, talking about Henry's promotional suggestion. Bronwyn, however, says warily that it doesn't really sound like *Harold's* sort of thing. Scott says he thinks they should leave Harold to Sharon: she seems to have him under her thumb. Bronwyn smiles:
BRONWYN: That's Shaz: gets on with the strangest people!
She then quickly apologises to Scott, but he tells her not to worry: Harold *can* be pretty strange sometimes! With that, he says he'd better get going, as he has to give the drum to consumer affairs. He dashes off and Bronwyn tells Mike that she might give Jamie a swing. Mike smiles that he'll give them *both* a push. They walk over to the swings and Bronwyn sits on one, placing Jamie on her lap. As he starts pushing the swing gently, Mike tells Bronwyn that he thinks what she's doing about the faulty toy is great. Bronwyn remarks:
BRONWYN: It's just common sense, isn't it? It should be taken off the market.
MIKE: Look, I'm not arguing. All I'm saying is that there aren't going to be many people who are going to say it's their problem.
BRONWYN: Well, *I* reckon it's *everyone's* problem.
MIKE (smiles): That's what *Daphne* would say!
BRONWYN: I'll take that as a compliment! She meant a lot to you, didn't she...
MIKE: Well, she used to get pretty fired- up about things like this. She'd always fight for all the causes she believed in.
BRONWYN: She must've been lovely.
MIKE: Yeah. The best...
BRONWYN: It's great when you find someone really special, isn't it?
MIKE (fondly): Yeah, it sure is...
Nick is sitting on the couch when the front door opens and Beverly comes in. She asks him if she can join him and he shrugs that it's her house. She then asks him how he's feeling. He replies that he'll be OK – and he adds that he's sorry about the cops dragging him home last night. Beverly starts to say:
BEVERLY: I made some ‘phone calls on your behalf this morning—
NICK (interrupting): Look, I already checked. The only thing I'm eligible for is an Austudy allowance. I don't reckon I can live on that – not while I'm at school, anyway.
BEVERLY: What do you think you're going to do?
NICK (shrugs): Quit school. Get a job. I'll make it – and I'll clear out after grandma's funeral, if that's OK.
BEVERLY: As a matter of fact, it's *not* OK.
Nick looks at Beverly sharply and asks her what she means. She tells him:
BEVERLY: All young people have the right to an education. I think you'd be foolish to throw yours away.
NICK: Look, I can't see I've got much choice.
BEVERLY: I think you could continue at Erinsborough High.
NICK: Not if I've got rent to pay.
BEVERLY: We don't *charge* rent here.
Nick stares at Beverly in astonishment and mouths:
BEVERLY (smiles): We'd like you to stay on with us.
NICK: But I thought you said you didn't *want* me.
BEVERLY: Todd convinced me that I was being unreasonable.
NICK (looking surprised): *Todd*?!
BEVERLY: Yes. He presented your case with maturity and compassion.
NICK: Which Todd are we talking about here?!
BEVERLY: He wants you to stay. Take my word for it: we *all* do.
Bronwyn and Mike are sitting on a bench, Bronwyn laughing as she tells a story about how on the farm in Narrabri her dad put a tractor in gear and pulled a whole fence over! Mike grins and then looks at Jamie and comments that he's fallen asleep. He suggests that they'd better get him home, adding:
MIKE: I'll push him.
BRONWYN: No, it's OK.
MIKE: You pushed him on the way over here.
MIKE: I'll toss you for it!
BRONWYN: No thanks – I'm not a gambler! I'll arm- wrestle you!
Mike looks at Bronwyn in astonishment and asks her if she's serious! Bronwyn nods:
BRONWYN: You bet!
With that, the two of them go and crouch down by the end of the slide, using it to rest their elbows on, and Bronwyn says:
Before Mike can even react, Bronwyn pushes down his arm! Mike sighs that that wasn't fair – he wasn't ready! He adds:
MIKE: I demand a rematch!
BRONWYN: No. I don't want to compete. I *like* you too much.
MIKE (murmurs): Yeah, well, the feeling's mutual.
The two of them move towards each other and start kissing passionately...