Des telling Mike that he doesn't want to have to choose between him and Jane. Mike announcing that Des won't have to choose because he's going to pack his things and get out of his and Jane's lives once and for all.
Jane follows Mike as he heads to his room. She tells him that Des didn't mean what he said: he doesn't want Mike to leave any more than *she* does. Mike mutters that that's still a fair bit. Jane sighs at Mike that he's being really stupid. Des joins them and says:
DES: Jane's right, mate: look, this *is* the only home you've ever had. You can't just walk away.
JANE: We've been friends for too long. There must be some way we can sort this out? It's not as if you've got anywhere else to go, anyway.
Mike snaps that he's not totally helpless. Jane insists that they want him to stay. Des adds that they'll try as hard as possible not to make things uncomfortable for him. Mike hesitates and then sighs that he'll stay - but if it doesn't work out, then they'll have to remember that *they* were the ones who wanted him to hang around. With that, he heads into his room. Des and Jane look at each other, still obviously worried.
Hilary is doing some gardening in the front yard of No. 30 when Joe, Kerry - pushing Sky - and Toby come up the street, Joe grinning at Hilary:
JOE: How was the party last night, eh? Talk about setting a few people on their ears! One thing after another, wasn't it! Jane and Des getting engaged... then me and Kerry... then there was *your* little announcement...! Who'd ever have though, eh?!
HILARY (tersely): I suppose I should congratulate you: you're both very obviously suited to one another.
Looking at Kerry, Hilary asks her if it was a spur of the moment decision. Kerry nods:
KERRY: Sort of.
HILARY: It's just that I notice you're not wearing a ring - yet.
KERRY (muses): Well, I don't place much stock on that traditional stuff. Anyway, people *expect* us unmarried mothers to be a bit unconventional. Don't you find that?
HILARY: It's one thing to be a victim of circumstance; it's another to deliberately flout convention. Now, if you'll both excuse me, I'd like to get back to work.
With that, Hilary walks up a short distance up No. 30's front path, leaving Kerry to say to Joe that she thinks they were a bit hard on her. Joe, however, points out that *she* had a go first - and she's always stirring, so it's good to have a taste of her own medicine. Kerry then offers to cook Joe and Toby a special meal tonight. Joe smiles that he'll see her later. He and Toby walk off to No. 32. Kerry stands on the pavement with Sky, looking thoughtful. She then walks over to Hilary and says sincerely:
KERRY: I know it took a lot of courage for someone like you to do what you did last night, Hilary.
Hilary, however, just retorts:
HILARY: I don't need *your* approval, thank you very much.
Kerry stands there and sighs heavily.
Joe and Toby walk into the kitchen and Joe tells Toby that he'd better get some nice clothes together for Jamie's party tomorrow. Toby sighs and asks if he *has* to go, as they'll all be little kids there. Joe tells him that Jamie will be his sort of cousin when Des and Jane get married - and Jane will be Jamie's stepmother. Toby asks:
TOBY: Does that mean she'll get all mean and start pushing Jamie around?
JOE (frowns): Why would she do *that*?!
TOBY: That's what stepmothers do in books and movies and things!
Joe chuckles that stepmothers aren't like that in real life! Toby then asks:
TOBY: What about when you and Kerry get married: she'll be *my* stepmother.
JOE (chuckles): Yeah, but you won't be Cinderella, mate! Look, you will be you and Kerry will be Kerry.
TOBY: Do I have to call her 'mum'?
JOE: No, of course you don't. Noels is your mum. Look, I know it's all a bit confusing now, but we'll all be the same people, it'll be just that we're going to be a family - a big, happy one: you and me, Kerry, Sky, Bouncer...
Toby comments that Sky will be sort of like his little sister. Joe smiles that he's got nothing to worry about.
Kerry emerges from Jamie's room and Jane asks her if he's settled down all right for the night. Kerry smiles that there's no problem. She then adds that she talked to a couple of mothers at crèche and they're going to bring their kids too, tomorrow. She asks if that's OK and Jane nods that the more, the merrier: it's such short notice that it'll be hard to get as many kids as they'd like. Mike, who's sitting working at the table, says coolly:
MIKE: It's just as well. If you'd spent much *time* with Jamie, you'd realise that too many people get him over-excited. He's better off with just a few that he knows.
Des is sitting on the couch with Jane, finishing off the food list. Jane says she'll get a few little toys to keep the kids occupied. Mike tells her to make sure she gets something that they're not going to swallow. Jane suggests to him that he come over and help them plan, but Mike mutters that they don't want *his* advice. Des insists, and so Mike stands up and joins them. Kerry asks what time the party will start. Jane suggests 4pm, but Mike comments:
MIKE: Easy to see you're not a mother. Right after day-care's better, so they can bring their kids straight here, you know?
Kerry says *she's* a mother, and it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to *her*. Jane, however, insists that Mike's right, and she suggests they make it 3:30pm. Des then asks about entertainment. Jane suggests Toby and his magic tricks. Mike rolls his eyes and mutters that he'll go and work in his room. Jane asks:
JANE: Why, Mike? Don't you think Toby's magic tricks will be a good idea?
MIKE: Well, Jane, we're dealing with two-year-old kids, you know? I don't know how interested they'll be in silly card tricks.
With that, Mike heads to his room. When he's gone, Kerry muses:
KERRY: Well, that's what I call really constructive involvement.
Des stands up and says he'll go and have a word with him. Jane, however, stops him and tells him to leave him: he'll get over it, and until he does they'll just have to put up with it.
Matt comes in through the front door. Hilary emerges from the kitchen and asks him curtly where he's been. Matt shrugs that he was helping a friend fix their bike. Hilary snaps that she wishes he'd do her the basic courtesy of letting her know when he'll be late. Matt, however, retorts that it *isn't* late: they *never* have dinner before this time. Hilary snaps that that is beside the point: sometimes he's very inconsiderate. She goes to march back into the kitchen, but Matt takes her arm and stops her. He then says:
MATT: Look, I don't *get* this. Last night, you thought enough of me to tell the world I was your son, and now you yell at me for no reason. What's happened?
HILARY: *Nothing's* happened. Now, go and get washed; I'll be dishing up in a minute.
MATT (persists): Hilary, *something* must have happened for you to be in this mood. Now, have the neighbours given you a hard time?
HILARY (sighs): No, it's not the neighbours; well, yes, some of them, but I expected that. Look, it's nothing.
Hilary tries again to head back into the kitchen, but Matt says caringly:
Hilary pauses before then saying:
HILARY: All right. If you want to know the truth, I lost my job today as a direct result of admitting that I'm your mother - and as far as I know, that's only the *beginning*.
With that, Hilary heads into the kitchen, leaving Matt standing looking worried.
A short time later, Hilary and Matt are sitting in the lounge room, Matt ranting:
MATT: This is stupid. I mean, who does old man Muir think he is? I mean, this is the 1980s: you can't sack someone for not being married.
Hilary retorts that he evidently thinks he *can*. Matt tells her to go to the anti-discrimination board: they'd come down on him like a ton of bricks. Hilary, however, insists that she doesn't want to make a fuss - she'll look for another job. She then suggests that they go and have dinner. Matt, however, says tersely:
MATT: If *you're* not to give him a piece of your mind, then *I will*.
HILARY: Don't be silly!
MATT: I'm *not* being silly; I *mean* it. I'm quite happy to go and tell the old jerk what I think of him.
HILARY (orders): Matthew, you will do no such thing. You'll simply make the whole thing worse.
MATT: How am I going to make it any worse, huh? He's already sacked you. Look, no one treats my mother like that, School Principal or not. I'm going to go in there first thing in the morning, and I can tell you: he's in for one hell of a shock.
The next morning, Jane, Toby, Joe and Kerry are in the kitchen at No. 32. Kerry asks Jane if she's going to have some breakfast, but she says she'll just grab some juice: it's a big day today, and she wants to get all her work done so that she'll have this afternoon free for Jamie's party. Joe asks if Mike is still carrying on like a pork chop, and Jane admits that things *are* still a bit tense over there. Toby says he's going to go and get ready for school, and Kerry goes with him to find a clean shirt. When they've both left the room, Joe sits down at the table with Jane and says he wants to ask her something:
JOE: Des got you a ring, right?
JOE: Are you happy with it?
JANE: Yeah, I love it!
JOE: Oh great! I'm going to do the same thing for Kerry, then!
Jane comments warily that it might be better to let Kerry pick out her *own* ring: she's got some really off-beat tastes sometimes. Joe muses that that's not really romantic. Jane, however, points out that the important thing is for Kerry to have an engagement ring that she *likes*. Joe nods that Jane's right - he's going to do whatever makes Kerry happy.
Erinsborough High School
Matt knocks on the door of Mr. Muir's office and Mr. Muir calls to him to come in. Seeing Matt standing there, he says:
MR. MUIR: Yes? What is it, Williams? I mean - Robinson.
MATT (tersely): I just want to tell you that I think what you did to my mother *stinks*.
MR. MUIR: But, er—
MATT: You know my mother? The one you sacked?
MR. MUIR: Well, now, I think you're—
MATT: Do you have any idea how hard it was for her to come in here and tell you the truth, especially after having to tell the whole of Ramsay Street last night.
MR. MUIR: I think I have some appreciation of that, but the fact is that you—
MATT: It was because of straights like *you* that she had to give me up in the first place. Oh yeah, that was 17 years ago, but things are supposed to have *changed*. I mean, did it ever occur to you—
MR. MUIR: Now look, if you just keep quiet for a moment and listen to *me*.
MATT: Not until I've told you what I came for.
MR. MUIR (warns coldly): There are a few facts you'd better sort out before you say something you'll really regret, so you just stand there, be quiet and listen.
Matt falls silent.
Kerry is ironing a shirt for Toby in the kitchen, but Joe tells her *he'll* do it: he's not one of these blokes who thinks a woman should do *all* the housework! He takes the shirt, runs the iron over the collar and then hands it to Toby! Kerry exclaims that he only ironed the collar, and Joe tells her that Toby's wearing a jumper, so the rest won't show! Kerry takes the shirt back again and resumes ironing it properly! As she does so, Joe tells her that he's got the morning off - so they should go out and get an engagement ring. Kerry looks at him in surprise and asks:
KERRY: What for?
JOE: Well... because... you've *got* to have one.
KERRY: Well, I'm sorry, but I don't *want* one.
JOE: *All* women want an engagement ring!
KERRY: Well, not *this* one! If you ask *me*, it's no better than branding cattle, putting your mark on so everyone knows you own me.
Joe insists that it's not like that: people will think he's too cheap to buy one. Kerry, however, tells him that she doesn't *care* what people think: she doesn't need an engagement ring and he should spend the money on something else. With that, she hands Toby his ironed shirt and she leaves the room to see if anything else needs pressing. Joe sighs at a wary-looking Toby:
JOE: What am I getting myself into, mate?
Jamie's party is underway. Jane is standing with Des by the kitchen counter, and he smiles that it's going really well. Mike, however, joins them and remarks coolly that it's not the *liveliest* party he's ever been to. He walks off again. Kerry comes over with a woman she introduces to Jane as Vivien, Josh's mother. Vivien smiles at Jane:
VIVIEN: Jamie's *adorable*. I think it's *good* to start a family young - although I know it's not fashionable nowadays.
JANE: Oh, Jamie's from Des's *first* marriage. I'm not his mother.
Vivien looks at Kerry in surprise. Over by the fireplace, Toby has set up a table and starts performing some magic tricks with Katie's help. He turns a glass of water purple. Across on the sofa, Joe is holding Sky, and he says to one of the parents with a grin:
JOE: This is my little girl, eh? She will be when I marry my mummy, eh, Sky?
Toby overhears, though, and looks upset. Kerry suggests to him that he go and wash his hands, as he's got purple stuff on his fingers. Toby, however, snaps:
TOBY: Why should I? You can't tell me what to do. You're not my mum and you never *will* be.
With that, he storms off, leaving Kerry looking upset.
A short time later, Toby is standing with Joe in the kitchen at No. 32, tears welling in his eyes as Joe tells him angrily that he doesn't want to hear him talking to anyone like that again - especially Kerry. He asks him what got into him. Toby doesn't say anything. Joe sighs:
JOE: Strewth, mate, there's Kerry bending over backwards, trying to be friends with you, and you won't even try and meet her halfway. Well, I want to see you changing your attitude, boy, or else. You with me?
TOBY (cries): *You* don't care about me anymore anyway.
JOE (snaps): Oh, don't be so flamin' stupid. Now, *I'm* going back to the party; *you* can stay *here* and just think about what a spoilt little brat you're being. When Kerry comes over, you can apologise - and I *mean* it.
With that, Joe storms out. Toby bends down to hug Bouncer, who starts licking him.
Vivien is heading towards the front door with her son. Jane tells her that she can't leave yet, as they're just about to cut the cake. Vivien, however, retorts that they have to, as the kids were upset by all that shouting. The guests all head out. When the last of them has gone, Des puts his arm around Jane and she comments that at least *Jamie* enjoyed himself. She goes and picks up the cake from the counter. It's on a silver board, but as she carries it over to the coffee table, she manages to drop it on the floor. Looking devastated, she cries that the whole party was a flop. Des, however, insists gently:
DES: It was *not*! OK, a couple of things didn't go as planned, you know, but it wasn't *your* fault. Now, don't worry about it, OK?
He starts cleaning up the cake from the floor as Mike wanders over to Jane and says sourly:
MIKE: Some party...
He walks off again. Kerry joins Jane and insists that everything's all right - really. She goes on that she knows what it's like to fit into a new family - and maybe they're both trying too hard? Jane just nods her head, looking upset.
Hilary is sitting playing the piano in the lounge room when there's a knock at the front door. She sighs and goes and answers it. She finds Mr. Muir standing on the step, and she says coolly:
HILARY: If you've come to deliver my severance pay, you needn't have bothered - you simply could've mailed it.
Mr. Muir, however, tells Hilary that he wants to talk with her: he understands why she's upset and all he can say is that he's sorry they've had this misunderstanding. Hilary exclaims:
HILARY: Misunderstanding? You made yourself perfectly clear: you disapprove of my morals and you think I'm not a fit person to have on your staff.
MR. MUIR: No, I didn't say *any* of that - and it was *your* decision not to continue. I didn't fire you; you *resigned*.
HILARY: Only because you obviously *wanted* me to.
MR. MUIR: That's not *remotely* the case. You caught me by surprise with your revelation - and if I appeared disapproving, I didn't mean to; it was more that I was concerned about how difficult it must've been for you. All I can say is that I'm sorry for inadvertently making things more difficult.
Hilary smiles weakly and thanks Mr. Muir for coming to tell her. He asks her if she'll take her job back. She nods:
HILARY: In the light of everything you've said, I don't see why not.
Mr. Muir smiles that, now that's out of the way, he wondered if she might consider having dinner with him tonight. Hilary asks in surprise:
MR. MUIR: Because I'd *like* you to!
Hilary smiles warmly and nods at him.
Bouncer is sitting by the kitchen table as Toby packs some stuff - including an atlas - into his rucksack and says:
TOBY: Now dad's got Kerry, he doesn't want *me* around anymore, and I'm not staying where I'm not wanted. I'm going to Darwin, to find mum. You can come too, if you want.
Bouncer lets out a slight whine and Toby takes this as acceptance. He puts Bouncer's lead on him. He then says:
TOBY: I'd better leave a note - not that they'll care; they probably won't even notice that I'm *gone*.
Bouncer stares at him as he starts writing on some paper on the table.
Everyone is clearing up after the party. Kerry asks Joe in concern how Toby is, and Joe replies that he laid down the law to him; she won't have any more trouble. Mike joins them and announces that he might go to his room and do some work - he's had too much excitement for one day... Kerry and Joe look across to where Jane and Des are washing up. Jane tells Des that she's sorry the party was such a dismal failure. Des, however, replies:
DES: Look, I don't want to hear another word about it. The party *wasn't* a mess - and the things that went wrong were no one's fault except mine for leaving all the arrangements too late. No one could've done a better job than you.
JANE: *Daphne* could've...
DES (softly): Listen, I don't want it to be a competition between you and Daph, you know? I *loved* Daph - you *know* that - but I guess I'm in love with her *memory* - because I love *you*; so, I don't want to spend the rest of my life comparing you two, so just forget it and finish this, eh?
Jane kisses Des in relief, smiling happily.
Toby is leading Bouncer down Ramsay Street, saying as he does so:
TOBY: It's a long walk to Darwin. I don't know how long exactly, but it could take a whole day or more, OK? Come on - let's go.
With that, the two of them reach the end of the road and turn right, off on their big adventure...