- Toadie and Melanie are keen to continue their secret affair
- They are almost caught in the act when Terese drops by the law office
- Emmett is upset when David finds a note from Brent, revealing he's gone on the run
- David and Aaron are preoccupied with the search for Brent
- But Nicolette is bitter, feeling they are neglecting her following her hospital ordeal
- She tells Chloe and Jane that Aaron and David are caught up in Brent's endless cycle of drama
- When David and Aaron prioritise Nicolette over Brent, Emmett gets frustrated and smashes a glass
- Nicolette is concerned by this, and decides it's the last straw
- She says she's uncomfortable handing over her baby while Emmett and Brent live with the boys
David, Aaron and Chloe are in shock following Nicolette's outburst.
DAVID: What's that supposed to mean? You're not comfortable handing over *our* baby?
NICOLETTE: Our daughter deserves parents who will be there for her no matter what.
AARON: Yeah, absolutely she does, and we will be!
NICOLETTE: Not with Emmett and Brent - they're constantly causing trouble!
CHLOE: It's a stressful time. I'm sure Nic just wants to know things'll be settled when your baby arrives.
AARON: Look, they will be. Trust us, alright?
NICOLETTE: You can't guarantee that.
DAVID: We made a promise to Emmett, and we're not gonna let him down. That doesn't make us any less committed.
AARON: No, no. Look, we will handle things better next time.
NICOLETTE (shouting): The baby could have died! Not that I'm blaming Emmett. But, him just going off just now - all you could think about was him!
DAVID: Wait - even if that were true, that doesn't change our agreement. Aaron and I are the primary carers.
NICOLETTE: Well, that agreement was made before you invited two troubled teens to live with you.
DAVID: That still doesn't give you the right to make an ultimatum.
NICOLETTE: Well, I'm making one anyway! As long as Emmett is here, there's no way I'm handing over this baby.
Everyone else is shocked as Nicolette walks out.
Toadie is dropping Nell (and Hugo, who Karl's already taken inside) off with the Kennedys for the evening, ostensibly so he can get on with working on the Carmello case.
Toadie's flustered when Karl refers to the case as a 'workplace affair', momentarily worried that he's been rumbled for the real reason he wants the kids out of the way - to spend time with Melanie. But Karl and Susan are oblivious, and remark as Toadie leaves that he works too hard.
Toadie is in high spirits when he enters the house, and is surprised and allured to hear a feline growling from the sunroom. He walks in to find Melanie purring on the window- seat in a tiger- pattern dress!
TOADIE: How did you get in here?!
MELANIE: Purrrrrrr! You don't mind a stray kitty- cat paying you a visit, do you?
TOADIE: That depends. Have you had your shots?
Melanie feigns feline contempt, and Toadie says of course he doesn't mind her being here.
TOADIE: That tiger outfit is really doing things to me.
MELANIE (affected accent): Obviously not enough. I am trying to drive you wild.
TOADIE: Oh, it's working. Believe me. But we have the whole night together, so why don't we charge up for the main event, yeah? I bought us oysters, and figs, and chocolate.
MELANIE: Oh, you have put a lot of prep into this.
TOADIE: What can I say? I've got the soul of a boy scout.
MELANIE (grabbing him): And the body of a grizzly bear. But I do love an aphrodisiac, so, uh... let's do it.
She heads inside. Toadie looks excited.
In the garden, David and Aaron are discussing Nicolette; David says she's way out of line.
DAVID: She has no place telling us how we raise our baby. Which is why we have to respond to this very carefully.
AARON: Yeah. Look, I... I know we can't really blame her for being worried, especially after everything that's happened. But I just wish she would trust us.
DAVID: So do I.
Emmett appears, proposing a list of household chores that he wants to volunteer to do as punishment for losing his temper. David says they can decide on that later.
AARON: Yeah, but we appreciate the thought, mate.
EMMETT: Well, I have to do something. Everyone's mad at me.
AARON: No, they're not.
EMMETT: Well, then, where are Chloe and Nicolette?
DAVID: No- one's angry. We're all just a bit overwhelmed at the moment.
AARON: Yeah. Try not to stress, alright?
Nicolette is doing stretches on the floor, when a concerned Chloe comes in.
CHLOE: Did you mean it? Are you really gonna keep the baby if Emmett doesn't leave?
NICOLETTE: Well... having a baby is a full- time job. Aaron and David need to be all in.
CHLOE: They *are* all in.
NICOLETTE: Look, if they just took a step back and big, deep breath, they would agree that having Emmett around is a bad idea.
CHLOE: I just think you might be underestimating their investment in Emmett. You heard what they said - he's part of the family. You're asking them to choose between their own kids.
NICOLETTE: So you're taking their side?
CHLOE: No, I'm not taking anyone's side. I just worry that this could be the start of a huge rift. The modern family could be over before it even begins.
In the sunroom, Melanie slurps back an oyster, while Toadie squishes a fig into his mouth! He offers her some chocolate.
MELANIE: Only if you strip down and feed it to me.
TOADIE: Maybe we should both strip down.
Melanie agrees, and they start tugging off their clothes. Meanwhile, Mackenzie comes through the front door! She's talking to her dad, Grant, on the phone about how she's missing Shane and Dipi.
MACKENZIE: Yes, I miss you too, Dad.
Back in the sunroom, Toadie is down to his undies and Melanie in lingerie, purring again.
TOADIE: Here, kitty, kitty. It's dinner time!
At this point, Melanie hears Mackenzie talking on the phone, and alerts Toadie. They both panic; Melanie says he'll have to go out there, to 'head her off at the pass'. Toadie's not keen given he's still undressed, but reluctantly obeys.
TOADIE: Hey. You're back early.
MACKENZIE: Sorry - where are your clothes?
TOADIE: Oh, they're out back. Yeah, I was gonna do some cardio.
MACKENZIE: Oh. I thought you were working?
TOADIE: Yeah. Yeah, I find that a bit of physical exercise just helps me focus.
Mackenzie declares this 'cool', just so long as Toadie doesn't start coming into the office like that!
TOADIE: Gives new meaning to the term 'legal briefs', doesn't it, eh? Ha!
MACKENZIE (bemused): Ha.
TOADIE: Yeah, nah, I won't be.
Toadie says Mackenzie was supposed to be hanging out with Harlow; Mackenzie explains there was a potential Brent sighting, so Harlow's gone to investigate. A still- bemused Mackenzie says she's going to watch TV, so Toadie slinks back into the sunroom to get dressed, saying the 'moment has passed' for his exercise regime!
In the sunroom, Melanie has overheard that Mackenzie is staying put, so tells Toadie she'll sneak out the back.
TOADIE: Why did we have to eat all those oysters?!
MELANIE: Next time, let's just jump each other.
TOADIE: Yeah, let's do that.
Melanie gives him one last feline growl as she disappears into the night!
The next morning, Karl has brought Nell and Hugo home, and is sorting out their breakfast for them. He goes into the kitchen, where Toadie thanks him for returning the kids; Karl explains Susan is at No 32, to discuss Emmett returning to school.
TOADIE: Fingers crossed. Teens can be real ratbags; I remember what Callum was like at that age.
KARL (laughs): Couldn't have been worse than his father.
Mackenzie comes in to join them. Nell has a drawing to show Toadie.
NELL: You like it? It's a tiger. Rraaoar!
Toadie looks shifty.
Susan, David and Aaron are talking to Emmett about his return to school. He objects that he won't be able to concentrate, with Brent still missing. Susan, David and Aaron say he'll have all their support, and Susan suggests the routine might help him take his mind off things.
EMMETT: I suck at school. I have to really try, and right now, I... I just don't think I can.
AARON: I'm sorry, mate, but I don't know if we can put this off any longer.
Emmett reluctantly agrees, but tells them not to get angry if he stuffs up. They assure him he won't. He goes off to play with the basketball. Susan assures the boys they're doing the right thing, saying they can only delay his education for so long. Susan leaves.
AARON: Won't be much of a family life if we fob him off to another foster home.
DAVID: The rejection could completely derail him.
AARON: I don't think Nicolette understands how much he actually needs us.
We see Emmett looking anxious in the corner of the garden as he shoots hoops.
Chloe and Nicolette are walking through the street, when Emmett turns up on his bike. He asks if everything is cool with them, given they skipped out on dinner last night.
NICOLETTE: We're just having some quiet nights at home, that's all.
EMMETT: Was it cos I lost my temper?
CHLOE: Of course not.
EMMETT: Are you sure? You can tell me the truth. I can hack it.
NICOLETTE: Don't feel bad for getting upset. It's totally normal, especially considering your brother's still missing. And I know the whole glass thing was an accident, but it did raise some concerns about a baby growing up in an unstable home environment.
EMMETT: You think I'm dangerous?
NICOLETTE: No, I... I never said that. But you have to admit, you and your brother are pretty unpredictable.
EMMETT: If you don't want me around the baby, you can just tell me.
NICOLETTE: That's the issue. You and Brent are a package deal.
EMMETT: You hate his guts. You didn't used to.
NICOLETTE: The baby could have died. I can't risk being put in that situation again. You understand that, don't you?
Chloe is looking very uncomfortable at what Nicolette is saying.
EMMETT: Thanks for being straight with me.
Emmett gets on his bike sadly, and rides off.
CHLOE: Are you sure you should have said all that?
NICOLETTE: No. He could tell something was up. What was I meant to do?
Nicolette is seemingly feeling bad as they walk on their way.
Mackenzie has headphones in while she is working, while Toadie and Melanie give one another lusty glances across the office. Toadie asks how Melanie is doing with the Carmello files. She invites him over to take a look, and they use their proximity to have a private chat.
TOADIE: I didn't sleep a wink last night.
MELANIE: Me either. This little kitty cat went home without her dinner.
TOADIE: What is that perfume you're wearing? It is driving me crazy.
MELANIE: Eau de Melanee.
TOADIE: Mmm. We need to keep apart. It is taking everything I have not to eat you alive right now.
Mackenzie notices Toadie lingering very close to Mel over her shoulder, and asks what's going on. Despite Toadie denying that anything is amiss, Mackenzie assumes they're having workplace tensions again, noting the 'intense vibe' between them.
MACKENZIE: I think it's affecting the work environment.
MELANIE: Is it?
TOADIE: I think Mackenzie's right. Workplace relationships can be quite complex. Would you be up for another mediation?
MELANIE: Right now?
TOADIE: Best to nip it in the bud.
TOADIE (to Mackenzie): However, we will need some privacy while we get to the root of our feelings. Perhaps you could take some petty cash, and go and buy us all some morning tea?
MACKENZIE: Sure thing.
TOADIE: There's that nice bakery in West Waratah.
MACKENZIE: ... Okay.
Mackenzie leaves. Toadie and Melanie smile at one another, pleased with their ingenuity!
Lassiter's Complex / Rebecchi Law
Karl and Kyle are walking through the courtyard, arguing about the tram and whether the windows are too streaky - Karl says yes, Kyle says no. Karl starts comparing the windows around the complex, pointing out that none of them are grimy! At this point they are walking towards Rebecchi Law, and we see what looks like a pair of undies fly through the air behind the glass!
KYLE: I just saw something fly across the window.
Kyle goes to take a closer look, but he can't see anything - and finds the door locked. He starts calling out for Toadie, but there's no reply. The pair of undies is lying on top of the printer. We close in on Toadie and Melanie, who are crouched together in a state of modestly- framed undress just under the window pane, out of Kyle's line of sight.
MELANIE (whispers): Are you sure they can't see us?!
TOADIE (whispers): I think we're safe. As long as we stay still!
Melanie spots her bra hanging from a chair leg, and they panic in case Kyle sees it. Meanwhile, Karl thinks Kyle is using all this as a distraction.
KARL: If you don't want to talk about the tram, just say so.
KYLE: I don't want to talk about the tram, Karl! But this has nothing to do with it. I saw something whiz across the room. I think it was undies.
KARL: Come on, it's a law office, not a bordello! Probably just a flash of light across these immaculately clean windows!
Kyle grouchily declares there's nothing wrong with his window- cleaning, and walks off, followed by Karl.
KARL: There's nothing right about it, either!
KYLE: Stop badgering me, Karl!
It's a near miss for Toadie and Melanie, who overhear the tail end of this chat from their hiding place.
MELANIE: We're safe!
TOADIE: We're also half- naked in a not- so- private space.
MELANIE: So, you want to go to my place? We can put the 'back in five' sign on the door.
TOADIE: What, five minutes - is that all you think I've got in me? Plus, your place is in Anson's Corner, and Mackenzie's gonna be back soon.
MELANIE: Do you want to do this or not?!
TOADIE: Let's go to Anson's Corner.
A guilty- feeling Chloe has gone to David and Aaron, to tell them about Nicolette's exchange with Emmett in the street. The boys are even more furious with Nic than they were previously.
CHLOE: I could see it really affected him.
DAVID: No kidding (!) Nicolette told Emmett his worst fear - that he's unwanted.
CHLOE: Nicolette really feels that her concerns are valid.
DAVID: That's no excuse to go and shoot her mouth off!
CHLOE: I didn't come here to start an argument. I just came to give you a heads- up. Nicolette was as gentle as possible, but Emmett went off looking really upset.
Aaron says they'll have to go and find him now. Chloe leaves.
AARON: This is gonna be killing him. I mean, Emmett's always had trouble feeling like he belongs.
They decide to go and check the park to see if he's there. David gets a call from Leila at the fostering agency...
Toadie is picking up some champagne from the bar. He gets a message from Melanie, saying, 'Door's unlocked. Leave your pants where they fall.' He smiles and literally starts running towards the door to reconvene with Melanie at Anson's Corner. But Kyle, who's having a coffee with Karl and Susan, strikes up a conversation.
TOADIE: I've just got an important meeting.
SUSAN: Oh, with a bottle of sparkly?
TOADIE: With a very important client.
KYLE: Hey, man, I hope it's not in your office. I saw something really weird through the window.
KARL (sceptical): A pair of underpants. Apparently. The tallest story I ever heard.
KYLE: Except now I'm thinking that it's more like a pest.
KARL: Oh, you mean, like a rat?
KYLE: Nah, more like a possum.
SUSAN: We had possums in the ceiling of the gym at school a few years ago. They were living above the netball courts. Every morning, you'd go out and there'd be possum poo all over the place.
KARL: You want to catch that. It could be a health risk.
Kyle offers to check it out for him, but an increasingly impatient Toadie says it's not necessary.
KARL: Well, you need to be careful, you know. They breed, they multiply.
SUSAN: They mark their territory.
KYLE: Yeah, your office is probably covered in pee already.
Toadie promises to look into it, but insists he really has to go, and rushes off.
Nicolette is on the phone to an unknown person.
NICOLETTE: There's no doubt that Emmett is a sweet kid, but his brother is too much to handle. Everyone would agree that having them around is a risk... So, when will Emmett find out? ... I mean, it's gonna be a shock, but I honestly think it is the best thing for everyone...
Nicolette hears Chloe coming in, so tells the mystery person that she has to go, but will check back in with them later. Chloe wants to know who was on the phone, but Nicolette deflects, changing the topic.
CHLOE: Seriously, who was that?
NICOLETTE (defensive): Does it matter?
CHLOE: It does when you're doing that 'preening duck' thing.
NICOLETTE: I'm not preening.
CHLOE: You do it when you're hiding something. What's going on?
Melanie is humming happily to herself as she works. Mackenzie remarks that her mediation with Toadie must've gone well, as she seems 'heaps more relaxed'.
MELANIE: Yeah. It was a pretty satisfying debriefing.
MACKENZIE: Phew! Sorry, the tension was just unbearable.
MELANIE: Tell me about it.
Mackenzie wonders why neither of them were in the office when she got back. Mel says she went for a walk to clear her head, and that Toadie had an appointment. At this point, Toadie comes in.
MELANIE: Hey, boss - how was the meeting?
TOADIE: It was incredible.
MACKENZIE: Sorry, why is your pant leg tucked into your sock?
TOADIE: ... I'm a cyclist. It's what we do.
Melanie smiles to herself. Mackenzie quietly asks Mel who the meeting of Toadie's was with. They watch as, across the office, a smiling Toadie removes a cheese toastie from its wrapping, and begins to eat it.
MELANIE: I dunno, why?
MACKENZIE: He seems... I dunno, upbeat. And his clothes are all messed up. His meeting was right after your mediation. Maybe he was going to see a special someone?
MELANIE: You mean, like a *romantic* someone?
MELANIE: Toadie is way too busy to be having an illicit affair. Unless, of course, it's with a cheese toastie.
MACKENZIE: Yeah, I guess you're right.
Having successfully covered with Mackenzie, Melanie gives Toadie another lusty glance across the office. He glances back, and takes another bite.
Emmett is sitting alone in the garden, when David and Aaron come and sit down on either side of him.
AARON: Hey. Did you call Leila, and ask to be transferred to a new foster home? Mate, why?
EMMETT: Why not? It's what's best for everyone.
DAVID: But before we've even had a chance to talk about it?
EMMETT: What difference would a talk make? I already know how everyone feels. Nicolette told me.
DAVID: Nicolette doesn't know our side of things.
EMMETT: You're about to start up a whole new family. Once the baby comes, things will change. I'll drop into the background, and... the next time you have to choose, maybe you won't fight for me this hard.
DAVID: We will *always* fight hard for you. You're part of our family.
AARON: Absolutely. We won't give up on you, mate. Not now, and not ever.
EMMETT: Well, even if that were the case, it's too late now.
DAVID: No, it's not. I can still call the agency and cancel -
EMMETT: No, it's not about that anymore. I just got a call from my mum.
AARON: You did?
EMMETT: Yeah. Someone tracked her down, and told her what happened with me and Brent. She's on her way to Erinsborough.
Aaron and David look worried.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Sheila 2 tells Ned she always gets what she wants
- Chloe suggests Terese keep something to herself, 'to protect Paul as much as Ned'
- Sheila 1 tells Bea to tell Levi what is happening
- Levi asks Bea, 'Where does that leave us?' She looks uncertain