Des ending up covered in ice cream after the ice- cream- eating competition turns into an ice- cream fight!
Office of the Daniels Corporation
Derek Morris is sitting at Paul's desk. Gail is sitting opposite him and Jane is working at the computer. The sound of the laughter from the ice- cream- eating competition can be heard outside. Morris comments to Gail that the Waterhole staffing levels seem a bit high for a hotel the size of Lassiter's. Gail retorts coolly:
GAIL: Then perhaps you could suggest where the cuts could be made, seeing as you've already fired Madge and Henry.
Morris glares at her. He then looks round at the window and asks in irritation how he's supposed to concentrate with the noise outside. Jane tells him that they'll be finished soon – it's just the ice- cream- eating competition at the Coffee Shop. Morris looks at Gail and asks her if *she* knew about this. Gail replies that Des organised it as a promotion. The ‘phone starts ringing and Jane answers it. She then tells Gail that it's for her: the IVF clinic. Gail goes and takes the call. She listens and then tells the caller that she hasn't forgotten, but doesn't think she'll be able to make it this month because of work pressures. She then asks if they can discuss it at a more convenient time. She listens again and hangs up. As she does so, Morris says tersely:
MORRIS: Could you find somewhere else to take personal calls other than the office?
GAIL (angrily): That is unfair. I have just put off something very important to me in the interests of this company.
MORRIS: Just so long as it doesn't happen again.
There's the sound of more laughter from outside, and Morris stands up, muttering that that's enough. He walks out, leaving Gail to snap furiously:
GAIL: That man...
Jane asks her if she really has to put off going to the IVF clinic, but Gail points out that she doesn't really have much choice with Morris breathing down her neck all the time.
Des and Bronwyn are sitting at a table. Bronwyn has tried to sponge the ice cream off Des's suit, but Des thanks her for trying and says he thinks he'll go home and change, as there's no way he's going to front up to that meeting with Hemmings looking like *that*. Mike and Henry are standing at the counter, but they head out to start clearing up outside. As they do so, the shop door opens and Derek Morris walks in. He says to Des coldly:
MORRIS: You've got a lot of explaining to do. The front of this place looks like a pigsty.
BRONWYN: It's because of the competition.
MORRIS: Keep out of it, girly. [To Des] Well?
DES (retorts): As Bronwyn said, we had a competition. Sorry about the mess, but the boys are outside cleaning it up.
MORRIS: It's not good enough. Lassiter's has an image to protect. This sort of thing isn't acceptable.
DES: I'm afraid I disagree. I can understand your concern about Lassiter's, and there's nothing I'd do to spoil that – but this is *my* coffee shop and I'll do what I want with it.
MORRIS: Really? We'll soon see about *that*...
With that, Morris walks out again, leaving Bronwyn to exclaim to Des that she can't *believe* that man – she reckons Paul's lucky to be away from it all.
Driveway of No. 22
Paul is washing his car. Scott is sitting on the grass, watching him and looking pained from all the ice cream he ate! He's telling Paul about Des wrecking his new suit. Paul comments that he should have been there – it would certainly have been more interesting than washing the car. Scott remarks that he thought Paul used to *hate* washing the car. Paul replies that he *does*, but he's bored and frustrated; all he wants to do is get down to the office and find out what Derek Morris is fiddling *now*. He goes and sits down with Scott, who suggests:
SCOTT: Why don't you go and see a movie or something? You'll fill in time that way, at least.
PAUL: You know me, mate: I can't sit still for two seconds! I'm going to be fun to live with when I retire, aren't I!
SCOTT: Play a game of squash. At least that way you could get rid of the aggro.
PAUL: Sure, sure – but everyone I play squash with or golf with is at work – and *you're sick*.
SCOTT: Paul, stop making excuses. You've got the time; you should *use* it.
PAUL: Yeah? Like how?
SCOTT: Well, um... do some gardening or something. I don't know.
PAUL (coolly): Thanks, little brother. Thanks heaps!
Bronwyn and Mike come in with the balloons and decorations from the competition. The two of them kiss as Henry watches, looking uncomfortable. Bronwyn goes off to clean up the kitchen, leaving Mike to tell Henry:
MIKE: You know, I can't believe my luck. Bronwyn is such good news!
HENRY (looking upset): Yeah...
MIKE: You know, I reckon you should look around and find someone like that, Henry. I mean, I realise it must be fun taking heaps of girls out all the time, but there's nothing like spending time with someone that you really, really like.
HENRY (coolly): Is that right?
MIKE: Yeah, you bet. I mean, not that I'm knocking any of the girls that *you* take out! In fact, why don't you bring one of them along with us two? Maybe the four of us could go out somewhere?
HENRY: You think so, eh?
There's silence. Mike then realises:
MIKE: You really *like* Bronwyn, don't you.
HENRY: What's not to like? You've got the girl you want. Good luck to you.
HENRY: Least it means *one* of us is happy...
A while later, Mike is sitting at a table, holding Jamie, when Bronwyn emerges from the kitchen and announces that she's all done. She takes Jamie and tells him that it's time he went home for his nap. Mike just sits staring at the table, and Bronwyn asks if it was something she said! Mike, however, sighs that it was something *he* said, he thinks: Henry just went all strange. Bronwyn asks why. Mike shrugs that he doesn't know: all he did was suggest that Henry grab a girl and come out with them one night. Bronwyn muses:
MIKE: Was there something wrong with that?
BRONWYN: Well, no... but, um, when I first came here, Henry asked me out and I told him I wasn't interested in a relationship with anyone – so he's probably a bit upset that having said that, I'm now going out with *you*.
Mike insists that Henry will get over it: this sort of thing happens to him all the time! He goes on:
MIKE: I don't want to end up fighting with him. As much as I care, I don't want to end up going to prison.
BRONWYN (laughs): *That's* not likely, is it?!
MIKE: Well, actually, it *is*...
BRONWYN (frowns): How come?
MIKE: Well, it's a long story – but after Daphne died, I got into a bit of trouble with the two guys who ran her off the road, and at the end, I ended up with a Good Behaviour Bond.
BRONWYN (sympathetically): Oh Mike...
MIKE: It's no problem. I just have to make sure I don't get into any trouble in the next couple of years.
BRONWYN: Well, you don't have to worry about Henry. I'll talk to him and sort things out.
MIKE (warmly): Good – because I don't want anything to spoil our relationship.
Office/Reception area at the Daniels Corporation
In the office, Derek Morris finishes looking at a file and comments sourly that it's no better or worse than he expected. He then tells Gail that he wants the duty rosters for the restaurant. Gail mutters that she'll have to go over and get last week's. With that, she marches out. When she's gone, Morris walks over to Jane, who's sitting at the computer, and says to her:
MORRIS: Seeing as I've got to wait around while she [Gail] mucks about, how about getting me the Andrews file?
Jane stands up and walks over to the filing cabinet in the corner. Morris watches her, clearly relishing the view. Jane takes a file out and hands it to him . She asks him if it's the one he wants, but he tells her it isn't. Jane says:
JANE: I'm sorry – I'm not too familiar with it.
MORRIS: Oh, don't be sorry, Jane. You see, brains aren't all that important in the girls I employ – but co- operation *is*...
Jane closes the filing cabinet and goes to return to the computer. Morris blocks her way, though, and continues:
MORRIS: So how about you and I having another go at that dinner we were going to have, now that Paul's not around to interrupt?
JANE (firmly): It was only to protect Paul that I said I'd go in the first place, and he's not here anymore, so no. Thank you.
MORRIS (smiles): I can wait – ‘cos you'll come round in the end. They always *do*.
JANE: Not *me*.
MORRIS: Ah, but that's where you're wrong, you see, because no matter what you think, you're no better or worse than any of the others.
Bronwyn calls out for Jane from the reception area suddenly and Jane asks Morris to excuse her. She heads out into reception and Bronwyn asks if she's come at a bad time. Jane, however, tells her that she's come at a very *good* time. Bronwyn explains that she wondered if Jane thought her grandmother would mind if Mike came over for dinner. Jane replies that even if she did mind, it wouldn't matter: Mrs. Mangel's sister's very sick and she's gone to visit her. Bronwyn exclaims that her sister must be pretty sick for her to leave so quickly. She adds:
BRONWYN: It's up to us to keep Sharon in line. Think we can manage it?
JANE (smiles): What's all this ‘we' business? She's *your* sister!
Derek Morris pokes his head out of the office suddenly and tells Jane curtly that he wants her in there right away. He heads back inside and Jane follows him.
Henry is sitting on a bench in the park when Bronwyn rocks up with Jamie in his pram. She asks Henry if they can join him. Henry just mutters:
HENRY: If you like.
Bronwyn sits down next to him and says:
BRONWYN: I don't want to put you on the spot or anything, but are you upset about me going out with Mike?
HENRY (admits): I guess so, yeah. A bit.
BRONWYN: Is there anything I can do about it?
HENRY: Don't worry about it. It's not important.
BRONWYN: Yes it is. I'd feel awful if you and Mike stopped being friends just because of me.
While the two of them are talking, a car pulls up nearby and a man climbs out and goes to throw a brown cloth sack into a nearby pond. Henry spots him and calls:
HENRY: Hey! You can't dump stuff in there!
The man turns to him and yells back:
MAN: No? In that case, get rid of it yourself!
With that, the man puts the sack down on the ground, gets back in his car and drives off. Bronwyn sighs that she doesn't know how people can be so inconsiderate: it's not *that* hard to find a bin. The two of them walk over to the sack – but they hear a mewling sound coming from it as they approach. Henry bends down, unties the sack and takes out a grey kitten. He and Bronwyn start fussing over it. There are two other kittens in the sack: one tabby and one black and white.
Outside the Coffee Shop
Mike walks over to Scott, who's sitting at a table, and comments that he thought Scott said he couldn't eat anything ever again! Scott points out that that was hours ago – and he still feels the same way about ice cream! Gail joins them and Mike asks what he can get her. She muses:
GAIL: Some, er, pleasant conversation? Actually, I don't want anything at all except some time to calm down before I have to go in that office again and face Derek Morris.
MIKE: Still giving you a hard time, is he?
GAIL: He gives *everyone* a hard time. He is the most obnoxious and repulsive man I've ever met.
MIKE (grins): Ah! So you like him *that* much then, hey?!
Scott tells Mike seriously that it's no joke: he's seen Morris in action and he's a real creep. He turns to Gail and adds that he was talking to Paul earlier and he seemed pretty steamed up about it too. Gail retorts that he's got every right to be. She goes on that Morris is driving her up the wall: not only is he a complete pain in the neck, but he does everything wrong. Mike asks her what she means. She replies:
GAIL: For starters, in one morning of ‘phone calls, he manages to antagonise just about everyone involved in the Udagawa factory sites. He's ruined all the groundwork that Paul's put in.
MIKE: *All* of it?
GAIL: Well, just about.
Scott comments to Gail that it's really getting to her, isn't it? Gail nods:
GAIL: Especially now he's started sticking his nose into the running of the hotel. He had poor Prue in tears earlier.
MIKE: The receptionist?
GAIL: Yes. He bawled her out in front of a guest over something she was handling perfectly well by herself and he ended up embarrassing everyone. I really don't know what I'm going to do about it.
SCOTT: You could always quit...
GAIL (indignantly): Why *should* I? Besides, that is exactly what he wants me to do and I don't want to give him the satisfaction.
Mike asks her if she might not be over- reacting a bit because of what happened with Paul. Gail, however, says:
GAIL: *You* try five minutes with him.
SCOTT: Mike, he is the *worst*. A couple of years ago, he tried to use an article *I'd* written to set Paul up. He's capable of *anything*.
Mike asks Gail what she wants them to do: lynch him?! Gail muses:
GAIL: Well, if you did, that would get you a place in heaven(!), but hopefully I can think of a less drastic solution.
With that, she adds that she'd better get back in there before Morris starts frothing at the mouth. She thanks Mike and Scott for the therapy!
Office of the Daniels Corporation
Derek Morris finishes looking at a file. He walks over to the computer, saying:
MORRIS: I think I've just about got a handle on that, Janey. Now I'd like to see the files on all the tenants at Lassiter's.
JANE: The shops?
MORRIS (sarcastically): Yes, the shops.
Gail comes in and Morris remarks coolly that she took her time. Gail retorts that she hadn't realised it was so urgent. Morris mutters:
MORRIS: No, you wouldn't, would you...
Jane hands Morris some files for the pharmacy, the souvenir shop and the Coffee Shop. Morris grabs the file for the Coffee Shop. Gail asks him why he's so interested in *that* file. Morris just tells her:
MORRIS: I'm interested in *everything*, Gail. I thought you *knew* that.
GAIL (warily): Yes, I'm beginning to...
Morris finds something of interest in the file and he grins:
MORRIS: Ah, there it is. He doesn't stand a chance.
JANE: *Who* doesn't?
MORRIS: Des. The nerve of that guy, thinking he could tell me he can run that shop the way he likes. Have I got news for *him*...
JANE: What are you going to do?
MORRIS: I should've thought that was obvious: I'm going to terminate his lease.
Jane looks at Gail in concern.
Sometime later, Gail emerges from the Coffee Shop with Mike and Scott, having told them about Morris's plans. Mike exclaims that he's got to be bluffing: there's no way he can throw Des out. Gail, however, says she's afraid there *might* be: there's a small clause in the lease that says the outside of a shop must be kept presentable at all times. She adds that she's sorry, but she doesn't see what she can do about it. Scott says:
SCOTT: What about Des? Have you told *him*, yet?
GAIL: No, I can't get hold of him. I rang the bank and Pete Baxter told me that Des would be in a meeting most of the afternoon and wouldn't be back there today, so I'll try him later.
Scott exclaims that there must be *something* they can do. Mike adds that he doesn't see why they should just sit around and let Morris get away with it. Gail sighs:
GAIL: Neither do I – but what are our options?
MIKE: Well, we could front him about it. [To Scott] Do you want to come with me?
SCOTT: Sure, yeah. I'd *love* to hassle the guy.
MIKE: Good. As soon as I've finished my shift, I'll go and see him, then.
Gail warns Mike that she doesn't like his chances. Mike, however, retorts that it's better than doing nothing – and anyway, it's the least he owes Des.
Des and Paul head into No. 28, Paul thanking Des for rescuing him from that gardening! Des gets some beers out of the ‘fridge, commenting as he does so that Paul practically pruned that bush out the back into the ground! Paul tells Des that it was dead. Des grins:
DES: It's deciduous, you idiot! It was resting!
PAUL: Well, I guess after what *I* did to it, it really *is* dead!
Changing the subject, Paul asks Des how his meeting went with Gordon Hemmings. Des replies:
DES: Oh, pretty awful. He's decided to give me a new female trainee manager: Penelope Porter. I can just imagine what she looks like!
PAUL (muses): I wouldn't talk like that outside this house, if I were you, mate!
PAUL: Haven't you heard of equal opportunities?
DES: Oh, I'm not being a chauvinist, mate, honestly; just that she's a protégée of Hemmings'.
PAUL: What – a *spy*?
DES: You got it. She's going to have her nose into everything, reporting back to him about everything that goes on every second of the day.
PAUL: It's nice to know I'm not the *only* one having hassles.
DES: It's only because of what happened to you that I'm so paranoid.
PAUL: Yeah, well, she can't be as bad as Derek Morris – *nobody* could.
DES: I'm not so sure. I had a run- in with him earlier: he was good enough to tell me that he didn't like the way I run the Coffee Shop.
PAUL (warns): Yeah... watch your back, Des.
DES: You bet – against him *and* Penelope Porter; because it's *my* bank and *my* coffee shop and I'll run them the way I want.
Paul raises his beer and wishes Des good luck. Changing the subject, Des asks Paul if he's seen Bronwyn and Jamie on his travels. Paul replies:
PAUL: Yeah, just a little while ago, going into Mrs. Mangel's with Henry – *another* Derek Morris victim...
The kittens are on the lounge room floor, on which some newspaper and a bowl of milk have been placed. Bronwyn comments to Henry that the three of them are too young to be away from their mother. Looking surprised, Henry comments that he didn't think Bronwyn would care, as she's from the country, where farmers aren't usually too sentimental about animals. Bronwyn replies indignantly that she's *always* loved animals and can't understand people who don't, especially when they're so little and defenceless. She adds:
BRONWYN: What a moron, trying to drown them like that.
HENRY: Yeah. ‘Moron' is not the word...
He then looks at the kittens and asks gently what they're going to do with them, as they can't stay there: Mrs. Mangel will freak out! Bronwyn, however, says:
BRONWYN: Not if she doesn't know about it.
HENRY: How are you going to hide them from her?
BRONWYN: Don't have to. She's gone away for a while to look after her sister, so as long as Jane doesn't mind, I don't see why I can't keep them for a few days.
HENRY: It would give us time to see if we could find homes for them.
BRONWYN: Yeah. But I'd better keep Bouncer away from them: being eaten's just as bad as being drowned!
Henry grins that Bouncer likes Katie's guinea pig, so he shouldn't be too worried about the kittens! He then adds more seriously:
HENRY: Listen – if you ever need help with them, just give us a call, OK?
BRONWYN (smiles): Thanks, Henry – I appreciate it.
She pauses before saying:
BRONWYN: You know, there's a whole lot more to you than you let people see.
HENRY: Like what?
BRONWYN: Well... like the way you've been with the kittens: really practical and sensible.
HENRY: Why *shouldn't* I be? Just because I joke around doesn't mean I'm like that all the time.
BRONWYN: I'm beginning to understand that, now. [Hesitates] Henry, about Mike... you're not really angry with him, are you?
HENRY: For going out with you, you mean? I'm not angry; I... I'm just a bit hurt, I guess. One minute you're saying you don't want to go out with me because you're not interested in a relationship, then the next minute, there you are, going out with Mike.
BRONWYN: I didn't mean it like that. I honestly thought I didn't want a relationship – but with Mike it just happened.
HENRY: It's all right – I can handle it; but it would help if you and me can still be friends.
BRONWYN (grins): Henry, of *course* we can!
Office of the Daniels Corporation
Jane stands up from the computer and tells Derek Morris that she's finished everything, so if there's nothing else, she'll go home. Morris asks smarmily:
MORRIS: Why the rush...?
JANE: No rush. It's just that Gail won't be back for another hour and there's no point in me waiting for her.
MORRIS: That wasn't quite what I had in mind. You see, I was thinking perhaps you and I could go out and have a drink...
JANE (firmly): I don't think so.
She goes to move past Morris, but he blocks her way and says:
MORRIS: Hey, hey, hey, hey... you can't fight it forever, so why don't you just give in and get it over and done with?
Mike is marching towards the office of the Daniels Corporation, telling Scott angrily that Morris has got away with too much already; he's not about to let him take the Coffee Shop off Des. Scott insists:
SCOTT: Yeah, Mike, I'm with you – but just stay calm; you don't want to get in trouble.
Mike just retorts angrily that *Morris* is the one who's going to get into trouble.
Reception area/Office of the Daniels Corporation
Mike marches into the reception area, followed by Scott. In the office, Jane is saying tersely to Morris:
JANE: I just want to go home. Will you get out of my way?
The door opens suddenly and Mike walks in. Morris has pinned Jane's arm against the wall and Mike snaps at him:
MIKE: Get your hands off her.
MORRIS (warns): This is *my* office. You're trespassing.
MIKE: I'm warning you. Leave her alone.
MORRIS: That's for *me* to decide. Now, get out.
MIKE: You don't, buddy, you're gonna be in for it.
MORRIS (taunts): From *you*?!
Mike goes to lunge at Morris, but Scott restrains him. Jane warns him:
JANE: Your bond, remember?
A look of glee crosses Morris's face. Mike stands there looking furious.