- Shane informing Dipi that he's going to drop out of uni
- Dipi telling Pierce they shouldn't talk about their relationships with each other
- David and Aaron deciding to hit pause on surrogacy applications
- Audrey wanting Nicolette to confess about the lottery money they took
- Pierce noticing the tension between Audrey and Nicolette
- Hendrix encouraging Pierce to follow up on his instincts about Nic's friend
- Pierce asking Audrey why she looked intimidated by Nicolette
Audrey thanks Pierce for his concern but tells him he's got the wrong end of the stick. But Pierce believes Audrey's being bullied by Nicolette and lets her know where to find him at Lassiters if she needs help. Nicolette emerges from the bathroom just in time to see them interacting before Pierce leaves. Nicolette immediately asks Audrey what Pierce wanted.
Toadie notices that Dipi looks tired. She admits that her and Shane have been arguing about his back and forth decisions regarding uni, and the fact that he won't discuss anything with her. Dipi's worried that he's going to push himself too much and end up relapsing.
DIPI: It leads us to have these awful conversations that don't even sound anything like us.
TOADIE: I know it's hard to sit there and watch as Shane works out how to live with this, but he is trying.
DIPI: He's making all of these rash decisions like recovery has a finish line he can sprint for. It's not that simple for any of us. Why isn't he working with me?
TOADIE: Shane is at the start of a very long haul and he is going to make mistakes like Sonya did. You're doing the right thing by keeping him on track. You just have to be patient about the results.
Susan and Karl drop by to check on Shane after hearing about the fight he had with Dipi that morning. Shane admits that making Dipi happy used to be the easiest thing in the world, now he can't even talk to his wife without upsetting her.
SHANE: If I could just focus, clear my thoughts, I'd be able to figure out what it is that she wants me to say and do.
SUSAN: And what do you think would help you to focus?
SHANE: Getting a fix. But that's the wrong answer, isn't it.
SUSAN: Your addiction was a threat to your marriage, it wasn't a solution.
Susan suggests that Shane head to a NA meeting, but Shane wants to hold off until tomorrow so he doesn't flake on his work shift and disappoint Pierce and Sheila. Susan and Karl encourage Shane to prioritise his health, though, and Karl even offers to write him out a medical certificate. Shane wonders if heading to a meeting would help with Dipi and Susan believes that Dipi would be happy that Shane's taking steps to protect himself.
Chloe wants to talk with Pierce about their argument earlier, but before they can get into it Nicolette drops by ready to tear Pierce a new one about trying to interrogate Audrey. Chloe is dumbfounded when Nicolette explains that Pierce claimed she was a bully to Audrey and said her friend would be safer around him. Pierce protests that he was only trying to help Audrey because it looked like Nicolette was having a go at her.
NICOLETTE: That is ridiculous! Audrey and I are friends, we haven't caught up in years and that's what we were doing.
PIERCE: Well then why did she look so upset?
NICOLETTE: Because we were talking about something sad.
Nicolette adds that it's flattering Pierce spends so much time thinking about her when he claims to hate her, but she wants him to leave her friends out of his deranged conspiracy theories. Nic apologises to Chloe for barging in before she heads back home. Chloe looks overwhelmed and asks Pierce exactly what went on with Audrey.
Dipi is daydreaming about her kiss with Pierce when Toadie snaps her out of her daze. Toadie thinks she's still worrying about Shane, so Dipi goes along with it and says she hopes he's coping okay at work. But Toadie has news for Dipi, informing her that Shane's gone to a NA meeting instead.
DIPI: So I really did push him to want to use again.
TOADIE: No Dip, you can't look at it like that. Shane is going to be tempted more often than not at the moment. So please just focus on the positives - he realised that he needed help and he's reaching out for it.
DIPI: It means he's trying.
DIPI: Yeah, I need to go easier on him.
TOADIE: Dip you're learning how to deal with this too.
DIPI: And that means being more patient, so that's exactly what I'm going to be for as long as he needs it.
Chloe is having a hard time believing Pierce could interpret so much between Audrey and Nicolette from only watching the two of them from afar. Pierce says that something is obviously going on from the way Nicolette reacted just now, but Chloe says that Pierce is sounding completely paranoid.
CHLOE: Is it that hard for you to admit that you might have misjudged the situation?
PIERCE: So that's it? You're just going to believe her over me?
CHLOE: Well it's a little bit convenient isn't it? For you to find evidence that Nicolette is a bad friend straight after overhearing that I miss hanging out with her.
PIERCE: Or maybe I'm right and she's not the person you think she is. She's a different person when you're not around, Chloe, I wish you'd trust me on that.
CHLOE: And I wish you would trust me to choose my own friends.
She grabs her purse and keys and leaves to clear her head. Hendrix has overheard them arguing and apologises to his dad for giving him the wrong advice to approach Audrey for a chat. But Pierce doesn't blame him, he just shouldn't have spoken to Audrey in the first place. And he also should have known Nicolette would find a way to twist things and make him look bad in front of Chloe.
Toadie and Dipi talk to Shane after his NA meeting. Shane tells them he's glad he went, but he feels guilty about not letting Dipi know earlier: "I was going to tell you, but later on tonight." Dipi says she understands and Toadie leaves to give them space to chat. Dipi tells Shane she's proud of him for going to a meeting and Shane says he's sorry for their argument.
SHANE: I should have talked to you before I made any decisions.
DIPI: Are you still feeling okay about deferring uni?
SHANE: Coming to terms with it.
DIPI: What does that mean?
SHANE: It means I understand why you want me to be more careful. And you're right.
DIPI: But you're not happy about it?
SHANE: I'm not sure my happiness is what matters right now.
DIPI: It matters to me.
Shane falters before telling Dipi he should get back to work.
Aaron and David end a Skype call with Emmett and comment on how much they miss him. It gets David thinking on how he doesn't want to wait any longer to be a dad. Aaron understands, but he thought they agreed that it was too early to raise the idea around Chloe after her miscarriage.
DAVID: That's just it, we don't know how Chloe would feel.
AARON: You know it's only been a month since she lost her baby. It's safe to say she's going to have mixed feelings about it.
DAVID: You've seen the info. Even if we started the application today, it could take two years. I don't want to pressure Chloe, but I'd rather have her included in the conversation than make assumptions on her behalf.
AARON: Well what happens if we talk to her and she asks us to wait?
DAVID: Then we wait.
AARON: ... All right. Let's go talk to her.
Pierce shows Hendrix the diamond necklace he bought Chloe, but Hendrix isn't sure Chloe will be in the mood for jewellery right now. Especially when it's not a romantic gesture and more of an apology for 'acting like a psycho because your friend makes me psycho'. Pierce admits that talking isn't helping at the moment so he's hoping a present will do the trick. Dipi brings over their lunch and comments on how beautiful the necklace is - and how gorgeous it will look on Chloe. Pierce is happy that Dipi likes the idea.
Audrey is grateful that Nicolette has helped her with the nursing agency website so she can find some work as a relief nurse. Audrey then wonders if Nic wants to come with her to the agency interview so they can work out a timeline on the way on how they're going to pay the lottery money back. Nicolette says she can't - she'll have to work out her own budget first before she commits to a timeline. Nicolette then adds that Audrey doesn't have to worry about avoiding the cafe or the complex because she "gave Pierce a verbal smack- down" for hassling her.
AUDREY: Thanks. He was seriously intense.
NICOLETTE: He was seriously out of order.
Audrey asks if Nicolette wants to have dinner that night, maybe some hot chocolate and toasties like they used to. But Nicolette says she's already got plans and takes a rain check.
Chloe runs into Pierce, looking like she's in a calmer mood, and asks him to sit down and chat with her. Pierce is relieved to hear that she's ready to try talking again, but before they do he shows her the necklace he bought her. Instead of being thrilled, Chloe is frustrated that Pierce thinks the solution to their arguing is to buy her something shiny. She thinks he's just trying to butter her up and tells him he doesn't get it before storming out. Dipi has been watching the whole exchange and doesn't understand why Chloe is reacting the way she is.
Pierce follows Chloe and tells her he's just trying to do something special for her. But Chloe retorts that bribing her with diamonds isn't exactly special. Their conversation rolls back around to their impasse about Nicolette. And wouldn't you know it, Nicolette just happens to be lurking in the background listening to them argue.
PIERCE: I'm sorry for making Audrey feel uncomfortable. I mishandled the situation.
PIERCE: And that's it. I have nothing else to feel sorry for!
CHLOE: How about for treating me like a kid and telling me who I can and can't be friends with?
PIERCE: I thought you agreed that you were going to steer clear of her?
CHLOE: I changed my mind. You shouldn't have forced me, it wasn't fair.
PIERCE: If Nicolette is so much more important to you than I am, fine!
Nicolette smirks to herself.
Hendrix finds Pierce packing a small bag of belongings and finds out he was right about the necklace. Pierce says he's going to spend a couple of nights at the hotel but that the space will do him and Chloe good. He assures a worried- looking Hendrix that he and Chloe will be all right.
PIERCE: Call me if you need anything.
HENDRIX: Yeah. Hey, same goes for you, dad. I'm up for sad 4am chats whenever you need.
Pierce smiles at his son before heading out the door.
Lassiters Hotel - Pierce's Suite
Pierce starts to unpack his bag and finds the jewellery box with the necklace inside. He pauses a moment before taking out his phone. His first thought is to reach out to Chloe, but then he scrolls down to Dipi's contact info.
Dipi has finished up early at work and stopped by to walk home with Shane, but Shane has taken on the late shift to make up for the time he missed attending his NA meeting. Shane feels bad but tries to make light of it, telling Dipi she'll have the house to herself tonight. Dipi is disappointed but plays along and says she might 'go a bit wild and make myself a big pot of tea and bring in the washing'. This makes Shane feel even worse as he realises he forgot to put the washing out earlier like she asked him to. Dipi pretends it's fine even though it's clearly not. When Shane goes to help a customer, Dipi gets a message from Pierce on her phone: Do you have time to talk?
Lassiters Hotel - Pierce's Suite
Pierce thanks Dipi for coming over. She sees his bag and asks if things have become that bad with Chloe that he's had to move in, but Pierce says it's only for a few nights. Dipi admits she saw how his gift didn't go down all that well earlier. "If you want to vent we can break this no relationship talk rule," she adds, but Pierce says he's okay. They decide to talk about food instead, and Pierce tells her they should order room service. He hands Dipi the menu and tells her to order whatever she wants, his shout. Dipi's a little hesitant at first and only orders a salad, but Pierce grins and tells her to order the duck - plus he's going to organise a tasting plate of all the desserts listed. Dipi looks pleased.
Chloe is having a drink by herself and talking to Shane about marriage woes. She asks him if he thinks marriage is supposed to be hard work. Shane replies that he's not sure it's supposed to be, but most are at some point.
CHLOE: Pierce and I have been in this awful fight all day and now he's staying at the hotel.
SHANE: Mate, I'm sorry to hear that. What's the problem?
CHLOE: Things have been off since the miscarriage. He's got a big issue with Nicolette, so I said I'd stay away from her.
SHANE: He asked you to do that?
CHLOE: It wasn't fair but I agreed to it at the time. He's my husband, that's what you do right? Anyway, he keeps finding fault with her and we keep fighting as a result.
SHANE: You two still love each other though, right?
CHLOE: Like crazy.
SHANE: Then I think you've just got to hang in there. Keep the lines of communication open. That's what marriage is about.
CHLOE: Thanks Shane.
SHANE: Any time.
He goes back to work just as Nicolette walks in and sees Chloe. Nic asks if Chloe wants some company as she's at a loose end tonight, but Chloe sadly says it's probably not the best idea right now. Nicolette is disappointed but understands.
Lassiters Hotel - Pierce's Suite
Dipi and Pierce have finished their food and have made their way through a bit of wine. Now they're sitting on the bed together, wine glasses in hand, joking around about musicals. Pierce is having a good time riling Dipi up about how awful Cats is. He notices her staring at the jewellery box on the table and grabs it so she can have another look at the necklace. "Someone should be able to enjoy it before I take it back," he smiles, handing it to her. Dipi tells him she made something like it for a production they put on back in Bourke, but her version was more rhinestone than diamond. Pierce encourages her to try the necklace on, and Dipi eagerly leaps up to put it on in front of the mirror. She admires herself in it, undoing a few buttons on her dress so she can get a better look at how it sits on her. Pierce tells her to turn around so he can see, but they both get a little bit flustered when they realise just how much of Dipi's lacy red bra is showing.
PIERCE: You're gorgeous.
Becoming emboldened, Dipi undoes another button.
DIPI: How about now?
PIERCE: I don't want you to stop.
Walking closer to Pierce, Dipi undoes the belt on her dress and drops it to the floor.