Janae warns some Uni girls off Boyd
Lyn's been fired from the salon
Paul assures Dylan that, if he takes on management of Lucinda's, Sky will come to understand
Steph peeks out the window of number 26, watching Max pack his stuff into the back of the X-Trail: he looks back at her
Max loves Steph very much - more than every tiny molecule that makes up every little grain of sand in every beach in the world! Steph gets the picture - she knows how much and she never doubted it. Her love never wavered either. But...
STEPH: ...Nothing's changed - I'm still not having chemo until Charlie's born.
Max wonders what to do - pray for a miracle? Steph needs him to promise her he won't fight her on this - she needs his support. He promises her.
Steph presses his hand to her bump - Charlie's in training!
MAX: He's strong!
STEPH: And smart and brave and perfect.
MAX: Yeah, 'course he is (kisses her). He's ours.
Charlie's so important to him and he hopes she never thought otherwise. She's so important too. He'll just have to pray for the both of them.
Paul sees Dylan counting up his hard-earned cash and reminds him that he'd do much better if he managed Lucinda's. He's decided that Dylan and Elle should co-manage the place - their competitiveness can only be good for business. Dylan won't leave Kim in the lurch so Paul tells him to hire his dad, only for Dylan to remind him that Kim wouldn't work for Paul again. Paul decides he needs more reminding - which job would really put more food on the table? Dylan knows the answer and looks thoughtful.
Lyn tells Susan about Gino sacking her. Susan's going to start a boycott or get a petition going, but then concedes it might not be helpful. Lynnie's unsure about what to do: she's the wrong side of forty with no formal qualifications. Susan thinks she's underestimating herself. Lyn might take anything she can get, even if it means working for Paul. "What?" Susan is shocked and reminds her about his current plan of trying to put the GS outta business. Lyn concedes, after hearing about this, that she can't work for Paul and Susan reassures her that she will get something, even though Lyn looks less than convinced.
Boyd and Janae talk about Dyl-Dogs with Dylan, who's hanging out with Ozzie and making him laugh. Dyl thinks it's alright for Boyd, who spends his week with hot chicks. Boyd mentions that they've all been avoiding him and wonders if Janae could have something to do with it, after she presumes they all know he's taken and this is the reason they're acting this way. She manages to convince him she did nothing and Boyd is glad - it would be over between them if she had been butting into his personal life. Boyd leaves and Dylan demands to know what Janae did -
DYLAN: You realise that, if he finds out the truth, you are so dumped.
Max asks Steph how she is: she's back drinking coffee now and wishes Charlie didn't want chocolate too. Boyd is happy they're all under one roof and goes to answer the door to Susan, who's here to welcome Stephy home. The boys leave: it's pub crawl day for Boyd and Max is in such a good mood that he gives him some money.
As soon as they've gone Steph lets out a breath, and stumbles over to the sofa: she wasn't sure how much longer she could've kept it up. Susan looks worriedly at her and asks what it is.
STEPH: I feel so sick, Susan. Not pregnant sick - I'm way past that. It's the cancer.
Back to the Hoyland house, where angst is just a footstep away. Susan tries to rationalise it - it could be another virus. But Steph's been feeling like this for a while, even at the health retreat, but she couldn't tell Lyn as she'd gone to so much trouble...
Meanwhile Max is having a cuppa with his mother-in-law and both are so happy that the health retreat helped so much. He tells her about Steph taking coffee - maybe she should stick with the herbal stuff as it was doing so much good. Lyn thinks the happiness factor won't do any harm either...
Steph is tearful, thinking she's such a stupid optimist for thinking she'd wake up today and everything would be fine - it isn't.
SUSAN: It doesn't mean it's the cancer.
STEPH: I know it is the cancer.
Max is feeling optimistic, thinking that the gods will be kind to them: holding off the cancer until Charlie's born, when they'll throw everything at it and get Steph well. Lyn's been saying the same to Saint Peregrine (patron saint of cancer sufferers)...
Susan tells her that she has to tell her mother but Steph can't: Lyn, Max, Karl and all the doctors were right and she was wrong. The cancer might win, even before Charlie's born. Susan tells her she doesn't know that - she has to find out for sure. Susan takes a deep breath and goes to call Karl for an appointment.
Eden Hills Uni Cafeteria
Boyd asks Sky to come on the pub crawl, figuring she might be more optimistic about uni and the other students if she did, but Sky doesn't want to. She's going to see if the radio station will have her. Boyd doesn't like her taste in music and she thinks he sounds like Max.
Boyd leaves and Sky spots Dyl and his hotdog cart: things aren't going well and Dylan fears he'll be stuck like this for the rest of his life. She hopes he isn't thinking of managing Lucinda's.
DYLAN: I have to.
Sky thinks he can't - he'll help to ruin her granddad and Lou and Sky herself in the process! He points out that if he doesn't it's his family that he's betraying but she hasn't thought of that.
SKY: You know how I feel about Paul. And if you're going to dance with the devil then it's over between us.
Lyn and Ozzie are spotted by Paul, who takes their presence as a sign that Lynnie hasn't been successful with job hunting. She says she's waiting for some callbacks but, nonetheless, says that if she was to take up his offer, she would want it to be in an anonymous capacity, so no one knows that she works for him. Dylan spots her as Paul tells her why he'd want to hire someone who would be ashamed to have him as a boss. Lyn admits to him she has to appear loyal to Harold and Lou, her dear friends. But Paul's the only one that would employ her and she has to support Ozzie. Paul sees her predicament but she must see his: she could have helped him overcome his reputation as "something akin to Hannibal Lecter" but she won't, so he can't give the job. Lyn leaves.
Paul hopes Dylan won't be doing the same thing: he hopes he's here to take the job.
The General Store
Lyn is having a coffee when Dylan comes in and announces to Harold that he's working at Lucinda's: he didn't want him to hear it from someone else. Sky, in the background, is obviously shocked. Harold is understanding but Sky isn't.
DYLAN: I need this job, Sky.
SKY: Then you obviously don't need me (walks off)
Dylan wasn't expecting any different, as he explains to Harold. Lynnie listens in as he says that his options are limited. Harold is happy for him - he should grab opportunity with both hands! Dylan is happy they can still be mates and Harold wishes him luck with the job (and Sky).
On the way out Dylan asks Lyn whether she thinks he's sold his soul to the devil.
LYN: Oh, love, not for me to judge
DYLAN: So why don't you bite the bullet and do the same thing?
Lyn looks around, maybe to see if anyone heard.
Steph's been to the hospital and is now back home, where Susan gives her a cuppa. Steph guesses that when she knows what she's dealing with she can properly fight it. Susan reminds her that she can also lean on those around her for support. She encourages her to ring Lyn but Steph can't and she won't tell Max either, not yet. Susan isn't happy but won't go on about it. At least they'll know the results soon. Steph admits part of her doesn't want to know.
Karl knocks on the door and comes in - he has the results (that was super quick!). Steph can tell from his face that it isn't good: the lump has got bigger. Susan asks about the options - Karl only wishes they had the luxury of options. He asks Steph if she's changed her mind about refusing the treatment: she hasn't. Both him and her oncologist recommend she be treated *immediately*, to which Steph reiterates she won't until Charlie is born. He tells her about the minimum risk to the baby, which she's heard all before:
KARL: Steph, we can't safely induce labour for another month.
STEPH: Well, I'll wait
SUSAN: A month? (to Karl) Will that be too late?
KARL: I don't know - it's a distinct possibility. Look, I know that you care for your baby, but don't you think Charlie would prefer you take a little risk now if it gives him a better chance of having a mother?
The General Store
Sky brings out a coffee for Dylan - he asks her if she misses him yet but she just puts it on another table and leaves. Janae comes in and Dylan threatens to tell Boyd the truth. The man himself walks in, having abandoned the pub crawl. Janae makes up an excuse to leave and they go. Harold remarks to Dylan that they are a great couple but Dyl thinks that Boyd's an idiot for letting Janae get away with so much. Harold wonders if he should have a word with Sky, as she won't talk to Dylan.
In the kitchen, as Dylan watches, Sky is still adamant of Dylan's betrayal. Harold points out that Dylan doesn't know why Paul has a grudge against them. He's just trying to support his family and support Sky too, eventually, so she shouldn't be so judgemental. Sky sighs.
Karl and Susan listen as Steph tells them that she has this strong instinct that tells her that Charlie comes first. She could never put his life at risk. Karl tries to bring up chemo again but she won't listen. He tells her that his job is to do the best for all his patients - and that includes Charlie. Babies need their mothers. Steph thinks that babies need love and, if worse comes to worst and she isn't around, there will be plenty of love around for Charlie: he'll be treasured. She tells them to keep this to themselves - she doesn't want anyone to know.
KARL: Oh, Steph, surely you've learnt your lesson on that front.
But Steph can't tell Lyn, who'll fall apart, and she can't tell Max -she doesn't want to be fighting with him when she needs him so much right now. She wants them to do this her way. Karl and Susan don't look one bit happy with her decision. Karl asks if she has the strength to do this.
STEPH: I'll find it. I'm counting on Charlie to get me through.
Karl and Susan exchange worried glances.
The General Store
Sky tells Dylan that she thinks Harold should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She won't ever change her mind about Paul but she knows where Dylan's coming from. She tells him that, as far as cafes go, they are at war. Dyl thinks there's nothing like a down and dirty fight.
They kiss, just as Paul comes in and ribs Harold about the failed bikini promotion. But flair was never Harold's strong point.
Sky gets up from the table, having suddenly lost her mojo.
Max comes in and asks Steph about her day: Steph says she was looking at cars. Boyd comes in, having got everything arranged for an old-fashioned DVD night, just like they used to have. Steph chose the movie: 'Easy Rider'. Boyd goes to check the chicken, giving Stax "five minutes to pash".
MAX: Thanks for giving me a second chance, Steph. You're never going to regret it and neither is Charlie, not for now, not for all the years to come. And there are gonna be a lot of years.
STEPH: We shouldn't tempt fate
MAX: I'm not, I'm not. I know it's true.
He kisses her forehead and Steph looks miserable with the knowledge of what she's keeping from him.