Lou bidding farewell to Louise and Danni before heading off to rescue Cheryl.
Debbie telling Stonie that she's landed the part of Beatrice to his Benedict!
Robert and Jo marrying.
Debbie and Libby are sitting back on the couch, talking fondly about how beautiful Jo looked. Hannah joins them with drinks and asks if anyone's thirsty. Debbie, however, says she has to go and see Stonie to run through lines for the play.
LIBBY: How's it going?
DEBBIE: Good. Stonie is really good.
LIBBY: (raising her eyebrows knowingly!) *Is* he?!
DEBBIE: In the *play*! You know, I didn't expect him to be able to act, but he can. I just hope *I* don't make a complete idiot of myself.
Libby comments that it might take Stonie's mind off Catherine. With that, Debbie heads out, leaving Libby to comment to Hannah that she's been very quiet; she thought she'd be feeling *fantastic* after a wedding like that.
HANNAH: Yeah, the wedding was great, but...
LIBBY: But you're still thinking about the doll, right?
HANNAH: Yeah. I know it's silly, but I really loved it.
LIBBY: It couldn't be that you loved how much it was *worth*, was it?
HANNAH (indignantly): I never would have sold it - it's not the money I cared about.
LIBBY: Aren't you a little *old* for dolls?
HANNAH (shrugs): I guess. It's just that this one was something special.
Libby comments that it was special to Miss. Etheridge, too: a souvenir of her grandmother. Hannah sighs that she wishes she hadn't read the diary now.
The ‘phone rings. Helen and Philip look at each other as Marlene answers it, saying it could be Lou. It's Hannah who comes on, though, and Marlene hands the ‘phone to Philip. Marlene sits down with Helen and says she wishes Lou would ring whether there's any news or not. Philip hangs up and Helen asks how things are at home. Philip explains that Helen Burgess from the emergency care programme ‘phoned and wants him to ring her right away.
HELEN: Perhaps she wants us to look after another child?
PHILIP: Yeah, yeah, possibly.
Philip heads home to make the call. Helen stays with Marlene, who suggests that perhaps *she* needs some young person with problems to solve, to keep her mind occupied.
Stonie and Debbie are rehearsing the play, but Stonie's mind is more on food! He tells Debbie that he's having trouble contentrating.
DEBBIE: I guess you enjoyed it more when you were rehearsing with Catherine, hey?
STONIE: Oh no, no, nothing like that.
DEBBIE: You miss her, don't you...
STONIE (admitting): Oh man... like crazy! We just sort of clicked, you know? It happened so quickly... I reckon I could've even married her – after a few years!
Debbie points out that Catherine's only gone until her mum gets better. Stonie, however, replies that he doesn't know if they'll be able to pick things up again. Debbie tells him to think positively.
Philip hangs up the ‘phone as Hannah wanders into the kitchen and asks what the call was about.
PHILIP: A young boy: they want us to take him in for a few days.
HANNAH (sighs): Do we *have* to?
PHILIP: His father's had a breakdown and his grandmother's ill, which means his mother's got more on her plate than she can handle – which means she can't look after him properly.
HANNAH: But we don't have enough room; not now Debbie's back – especially for a boy.
PHILIP: We'll work something out.
HANNAH: It's not fair if Debbie and I have to share – we're *both* too old for that.
Philip points out that it's only for a few days. He adds that he'll buy a fold-out bed which they can put up in the lounge.
PHILIP: I said we'd take him in because he's got nowhere else to go. I expect your support. Come on, you might even like him - he's only a little bit older than *you* are.
HANNAH: What's his name?
HANNAH: Hope that means he's friendly!
Philip frowns at her, missing the joke completely!
Marlene is working behind the counter when Libby comes in. She says she was wondering if there's been any news about Cheryl.
MARLENE (coolly): Is that for personal interest or is it for the newspaper?
Libby explains that she was taken off the story because they wanted someone with more experience to do it. Marlene just mutters that the newspaper couldn't care less about anyone's feelings: all they want is a headline; they don't care about the suffering they cause people.
LIBBY (looking thoughtful): Maybe there's a story in that for me? Not about you and Cheryl specifically, but about the media and the way it treats the people it reports on.
MARLENE (curtly): It could be a good idea to let your average reader see how callous they can be.
Libby says softly that she takes it there hasn't been any news about Cheryl, then. Marlene sighs that she's been waiting for a call from Lou all day, but she hasn't heard anything. She goes on that when she thought Cheryl was dead, she really took it pretty hard; she was so relieved to find out she wasn't among the dead, but it's like an emotional rollercoaster; it's hard to keep your chin up. At that moment, the ‘phone rings and Marlene grabs it.
MARLENE: Oh Lou... Oh, I've been waiting to hear from you all day... Quickly: tell me everything that's happening.
Hannah and Debbie are setting up the fold-out bed in the lounge room, as Helens watches and supervises. She points out that the bed will do for a couple of days. Hannah mutters that she has a feeling this is going to be such a bad idea. At that moment, the front door opens and Philip comes in with a teenage boy, who he introduces as Casper Mack. Hannah's jaw drops as she stares at the boy, who she clearly thinks is good looking!
HANNAH (excitedly): Hi, Casper, I'm Hannah! [Indicating Helen] And this is my gran.
HELEN: How do you do.
HANNAH (indicating Debbie): This is my sister, Debbie. She's a bit older than us, though!
Philip rolls his eyes!
A short time later, Casper has had the grand tour of the house. Hannah tells him:
HANNAH: If you find the fold-out bed too uncomfortable, I can move in with my sister while you're here!
Philip asks Hannah to make sure Casper settles in OK. Debbie announces that she has to get off to Chez Chez. Philip says *he's* got a load of work to do. Hannah and Casper are left alone, and Hannah asks Casper if there's anything he'd like. She then grabs a skateboard that he brought with him and tells him that she's always wanted to know how to use one of them; maybe he could teach her?
CASPER (disinterestly): Yeah, maybe.
Debbie serves a young man with drinks at the bar. He smiles at her, thanks her and joins his mates. Marlene comes in and Debbie comments that she looks very excited about something.
MARLENE: Cheryl's been released.
DEBBIE: That's great! Is she OK?
MARLENE: Lou said she's fine – they're on their way home now.
Marlene goes on that she thought she'd give Cheryl a bit of a party. Debbie, however, asks if she thinks Cheryl will be up to that. Looking thoughtful, Marlene nods that perhaps she should just keep it to family. She then announces that she'd better go and find Philip and Helen and tell them. When she's gone, the young man returns to the bar and asks Debbie if she has any hot chips ready to go.
DEBBIE: No, sorry – you'll have to put in an order for them.
GUY: OK, that's what I'll do, then – and for now, I'll have a packet of chips from a hot barmaid!
Debbie rolls her eyes!
Ramsay Street/No. 26
Casper is skating around the street on his board. Inside No. 26, Hannah is watching him from the window. Philip is sitting on the couch, working on a laptop, and he asks Hannah why she doesn't go and *join* Casper.
HANNAH (sighs): I asked him if he'd teach me how to skate, but all he said was ‘maybe'. I don't know what I've done, but I don't think he likes me.
PHILIP: He's only just *met* you! He's shy... he's an only child... he's had a lot of problems at home lately. Obviously his parents haven't been able to give him much attention; he's probably feeling pretty down.
HANNAH: Then you'd think he'd *want* friends.
PHILIP: Give him a bit of time!
HANNAH: I think he's rude, the way he doesn't say anything.
PHILIP (muses): Well maybe you came on a bit strong with all the flashing eyes and the teeth!
HANNAH (insists): I *didn't*! I was perfectly normal.
PHILIP (laughs): You were working overtime the minute you laid eyes on him! Now don't tell me you don't think he's good looking.
HANNAH (indignantly): Dad, I'm not going to fall at a guy's feet just because he's good looking. I'm not *that* shallow; I can't believe you'd even *think* that.
PHILIP (shrugs): Yeah, all right!
HANNAH (indignantly): You think I'm *chasing* him, don't you!
PHILIP: No! It's just... well... your obvious interest frightened him off. Anyway, I can't say that I'm sorry that he didn't react with equal interest to you.
HANNAH: Why? I thought you'd *want* us to get along.
PHILIP: Getting along is fine, but not when you're under the same roof.
HANNAH: Dad, you're so old-fashioned! Anyway, I'm not the least bit interested in him. I don't think I'll even talk to him for the rest of the time that he's here.
With that, Hannah returns to watching Casper from the window!
As Debbie clears tables, Stonie is telling her that he thinks they need an extra rehearsal tonight. Debbie says that should be OK. She adds that Stonie's really worried about it, isn't he? Stonie replies that there's only a couple of weeks to go and he doesn't think they've really clicked. Debbie suggests that maybe it was stupid to think she could take over at such short notice. Stonie, however, asks who else could have done it – she's going great. With that he heads off. The young man who bought the drink and chips returns to the bar as Debbie does the same. He says:
GUY: Sorry... I didn't mean to listen, but it sounds like you're going to be pretty busy with your boyfriend, there.
DEBBIE (smiles): Oh, he's not my boyfriend.
GUY: I thought from what you said that you—
DEBBIE: We were talking about a play! We've got a lot of rehearsing to do!
Debbie then asks the guy if he wants to order something.
GUY: Yeah, some hot chips, please.
DEBBIE (smiling in amusement): Haven't your *friends* got legs?
GUY: Yeah, but I said that *I* wanted to order. Gives me another chance to talk to you!
Philip exclaims to Marlene that it's fantastic news. Helen asks how Lou got Cheryl away from the bandits. Marlene, however, explains that he didn't have to: they dropped her in the middle of Kito and she went to the nearest police station; there wasn't even a ransom!
HELEN: Danni will be *thrilled*.
MARLENE: She doesn't know, yet: she's driving Luke to Camp Quality, so I haven't been able to get on to her.
PHILIP: How *is* Luke – do you know?
MARLENE: Oh, OK, I think. Apparently he's become friends with a boy from the hospital and he's acting as his sort of companion for the week.
HELEN: That's good, because if he's looking after someone else, it might help to take his mind off his *own* problems.
Marlene nods that she knows exactly how he feels.
The young guy walks up to the bar as his mates head out.
DEBBIE: Your friends deserting you?
GUY: Yep – they're pushing on somewhere else; but you're here – as long as you don't mind that I stay and talk for a while.
DEBBIE: It's a free country!
GUY: I'll have another beer.
As Debbie gets the drink, the guy asks her what her name is. She tells him.
GUY: Debbie and Dillon. See, we fit together already!
Dillon then asks Debbie when she gets off. Debbie replies that it'll be in about an hour or so.
DILLON: How'd you like to come out with me tonight?
DEBBIE: I don't think I know you well enough – I really wouldn't feel safe.
DILLON: That's because you *wouldn't* be – but I guarantee you'll enjoy yourself!
Casper is still skating around as Libby crosses the street, watching him. He takes a sudden tumble and Libby asks him quickly if he's OK. He gets up and says he is.
LIBBY: You're pretty good on that thing!
Casper just stares at her before then picking up his skateboard and running into No. 26. Libby stands there looking bemused.
Debbie serves Dillon with another beer as he asks if she can't give the rehearsal a miss. Debbie, however, explains that she only just got the part; she's got heaps of catching-up to do.
DILLON: So if you can't come out *tonight*, how about another time?
DEBBIE: I don't think so.
DILLON: Then I'll have to come in here every day until you change your mind, won't I!
DEBBIE: That's up to *you*!
Back garden of No. 26
Philip has a barbecue going. Marlene and Hannah are preparing some food and Marlene is saying that it'll be lovely to see Cheryl's face again. Casper joins Philip – and Hannah quickly walks over to them as well!
HANNAH: Dad's *great* at barbies – he never burns *anything*; gets everything just right.
Casper just mutters that he'll go and put his board inside. He wanders off, leaving Hannah to sigh to Philip:
HANNAH: You'd think he's *allergic* to me.
PHILIP: I told you: give him time.
Inside, Helen is preparing some salad. Casper comes in through the back door and asks if he can have a drink. Helen points out the glasses, and asks him if he can take some outside as well. She adds that she hopes he likes barbecues. Casper shrugs that he hasn't really been to many. Helen then tells him that they want his stay there to be pleasant – he can ring his mother any time he wants.
CASPER (murmurs): Oh... she's pretty busy with grandma.
HELEN: I'm sure she'd love to hear from you.
Helen then asks Casper how long he's been skateboarding.
HELEN (chuckles): In my day it used to be roller skates! I got quite good at them, too. I don't know how I'd go *now* – and I'm not prepared to risk finding out!
Casper heads out with the drinks just as Marlene comes in. She grins at Helen that Casper is a good-looking kid, adding:
MARLENE: If I were thirty years younger, I'd be fighting Hannah for him.
HELEN (muses): *Thirty...?!*
MARLENE: Helen... I'm in a very good mood today. Now don't spoil it!
Dillon is telling Debbie that being an electrician is good: at the moment they're re-wiring the Lassiter's brasserie.
DEBBIE: So why aren't you working?
DILLON: It's our rostered day off. And good luck, too.
DEBBIE: ‘Good luck'?
DILLON: That it's not *your* rostered day off, otherwise we mightn't have met.
DEBBIE: Oh yeah, that would be a *real* tragedy!
DILLON: It *would*. I have a feeling that we were *meant* to meet; fate.
Two police officers come in through the doors behind where Dillon is sitting at the bar with his beer. One of them approaches the bar and says to Dillon:
POLICE OFFICER: Got some ID, mate?
DEBBIE: Oh what? He's over 18.
POLICE OFFICER: Then he'll have no problems producing his ID, will he?
DILLON: I've left it at home.
POLICE OFFICER: You don't carry a wallet?
DILLON: I'm almost 19. Ask her. [He indicates Debbie]
POLICE OFFICER (to Debbie): Do you know him personally?
DEBBIE (admits): No, not really.
The police officer tells Dillon to empty out his pockets. Dillon, however, sighs:
DILLON: OK, I'm only 17, but my birthday's only six weeks away.
DEBBIE (looking horrified): You're *seventeen*?
POLICE OFFICER (to Debbie): And you've been serving him, have you?
DEBBIE: Yes. He looks *older* than 17.
POLICE OFFICER: Did you ask him for ID?
DEBBIE: No, I didn't think to.
POLICE OFFICER: Then I'll need *your* details as well. Serving a minor's quite a serious offence.
Debbie stands there looking worried.