Des is talking on the 'phone, saying:
DES: It's about a quarter of an inch in diameter.
Over by the couch, Bronwyn is standing with Mike, telling him it's not *his* fault, it's *hers*. She starts fussing over Jamie, who's sitting in his high chair. Des asks the person on the 'phone who he asks for. He listens and then says he'll be there in fifteen minutes. He hangs up and Mike asks what the doctor said. Des replies that they're not to panic, but the doctor wants to have a look at Jamie just in case. He picks his son up along with the other drumstick, to give the doctor some idea of what to look for. Mike says he'll go as well, and he, Des and Jamie head for the door. Bronwyn calls after them to ring her if there's any complication.
Helen answers the front door to find Nick standing on the step. She invites him in and remarks that he's a bit early for tonight's class. Nick, however, tells her:
NICK: I'm not coming.
HELEN (looking disappointed): Oh, that's such a shame - I thought I'd talked you into *liking* the idea.
NICK (insists): I *want* to come; it's just my grandmother.
HELEN: Oh. Won't she let you?
NICK: Oh, she lets me do what I like, but she's real crook - they've taken her to hospital for some tests and stuff.
HELEN: Oh, she must be *very* ill.
Nick replies that she's pretty old, so it's hard to tell, but the caravan manager wants him to get lost while she's in; reckons he's trouble. Helen asks:
HELEN: And *are* you?
NICK: Probably. Nothing much *else* to do around the place.
Helen tells Nick that there are social workers at the hospital, and she asks if he's spoken to *them*. Nick retorts that the bloke said he was going to look for a vacancy in some refuge or home or something. Helen asks him if he hasn't got any relatives. Nick replies that there's an aunt and uncle in Western Australia somewhere, but he doesn't even know them; besides, he's got to stay there to visit his grandma and keep an eye on her stuff. Helen accepts this. She then says thoughtfully:
HELEN: Look, I do some community work - I may have a few contacts that might help.
NICK (coolly): Oh yeah? How?
HELEN: I don't know, exactly - but I may be able to arrange *some* sort of temporary foster home.
NICK (retorts): No way!
HELEN: But you have to live *somewhere* Nick. And what about school?
NICK (tersely): Will you quit it? I told you I don't want charity.
HELEN: I know that, but I'm worried about you and I want to help.
NICK (angrily): Do you know how many times I've heard that kind of garbage? Heaps - so forget it. I don't need *anyone's* help.
With that, Nick storms over to the door. As he opens it, Helen tells him that she's sorry: she didn't mean to sound patronising. Nick retorts:
NICK: You guys never *do*.
He heads out, leaving Helen sighing heavily.
Des is standing in the lounge room, feeding Jamie from a bottle. He gives his son a kiss and smiles that he's as good as new. Mike and Bronwyn are standing with him and Mike murmurs:
MIKE: Not *quite*.
DES: Oh, just about - once we wait a few days and let nature takes its course.
He adds that the doctor reckons they were very lucky: if Jamie had been a few months younger, he could've choked. Mike says in concern that he could have *killed* Jamie. Des, however, replies:
DES: How *could* you? You didn't even *know* about the drum.
MIKE: It was pretty scary coming that close, wasn't it?
BRONWYN: Especially when it's that crummy drum manufacturer's fault.
She picks up the drum and says there's nothing on it that says it's been passed by any Australian safety standards. Des suggests that he ought to ring the standards board. Bronwyn nods:
BRONWYN: Yeah - otherwise some other kid's going to have the same thing happen. It makes me so *mad*. How *dare* they? They don't even *care* about babies; all they're interested in is making money. Anyway, I'm going to do something about: I'm going to front them. People who run toy shops should know better.
Mike explains quickly that he didn't actually get the drum from a toy shop; he got it from the small gift shop down the road; maybe they didn't realise? Bronwyn just retorts that it's about time they *did*. With that, she heads to the door. Mike tells her that he'll come with her. Des smiles:
DES: Go get 'em, tigers!
Scott walks into the Coffee Shop and sits down at a table with Todd, who's on his own. Scott smiles:
SCOTT: Lost your mates?!
TODD: Oh, no, I'm waiting for Emma - she got detention for passing notes in Maths.
SCOTT: So it's still on with you two?
TODD: Yeah, course!
SCOTT (grins): How strong?
TODD (warily): Well, do you mean did I kiss her yet?
TODD (grins): Yeah, I did!
SCOTT: Come on - give me the details!
TODD (smiles): There wasn't much *to* it - it just sort of... it just *happened*.
SCOTT: Come on - and the rest...! Don't hold out on me!
TODD (admits): Oh, it was Emma - *she* kissed *me* - but after that it really was OK!
SCOTT: Ah, pretty fast moving woman, eh? You better watch out for those ones, Toddy!
TODD: Emma's not like that!
SCOTT: Well, whatever she's like, it's great; there should be more of it!
TODD (grins): There's *gonna* be!
At that moment, the door opens and Pete comes in and heads over to the counter, where he asks Harold for a meat pie. Harold sighs that if he can't talk an athlete like Pete into good nutrition, what hope has he got with the rest of the population? Pete, however, mutters that he's not an athlete any more, he's a bank clerk. Harold asks him if he's enjoying being back at work, but Pete just mutters that it's OK. Over at their table, Todd asks Scott why Pete is in such a bad mood. Scott tells him:
SCOTT: It's a long story - but it's basically because of wrecking his Olympic chances in Canberra.
TODD: He's still pretty good, though, isn't he?
SCOTT: Yeah, he's fantastic, but try telling *him* that.
TODD: OK - I will!
With that, Todd stands up and heads over to the counter, where he tells Pete that all the kids at school reckon it's really great that he's making it to Canberra. Pete just mutters:
PETE: Do they?
Todd goes on that some of them in the track team were talking and, now that Pete's back there, they were wondering if he could give them some coaching. Harold smiles that that's an *excellent* idea. Pete, however, snaps at Todd to forget it - he's not interested. Todd insists that they could really do with the help, but Pete retorts:
PETE: I said *forget* it, all right?
He goes to walk out, but Scott steps in front of him and tells him to wait a second. He goes on that Todd's not asking such a big favour. Pete snaps:
PETE: What would *you* know?
SCOTT: Oh come on, Pete, you're acting like a pain in the butt ... I mean, you have had *one* setback; big deal - it doesn't give you the right to just treat people like dirt, you know?
PETE (warns): Leave it, all right, Scott?
With that, Pete marches out. Scott, however, mutters:
SCOTT: No way.
Outside the Coffee Shop
Scott emerges from the shop and calls after Pete. Pete turns around and snaps at Scott that he doesn't have to take this. Todd emerges from the Coffee Shop as well and listens as Scott tells Pete angrily:
SCOTT: Oh yes you do. Everybody else has been bending over backwards to try and make you feel better, and all you seem to do is just step on them. You can't *treat* people like that.
PETE (snaps): All I want is for everyone to mind their own business.
SCOTT (mocks): Oh right - you just want to be left alone: poor old Pete.
PETE: You don't know what it's been *like*.
SCOTT: For anyone else, just *making* it into the Institute is pretty big time, right? You've had one setback and you think that's a reason just to give up the whole thing. You know your trouble? You're a bad loser.
PETE: I'm not. If you're only ever going to be second best, then there's no point in keeping on, no matter what *anyone* says.
SCOTT: Are you crazy? Second best is the last stepping stone to *first* best. If *everybody* had your attitude, there'd never be any winners.
Pete mutters at Scott to give it a rest. Scott, however, goes on that Pete has been wallowing in self pity ever since he got home. He adds sadly:
SCOTT: I just give up on you - you're a waste of time.
With that, he walks off, leaving Pete looking thoughtful.
A few moments later, Scott and Todd walk back into the Coffee Shop and sit down. Harold walks over and tells Scott curtly that he cannot have him causing disturbances round there. Scott tells Harold to relax: the way Pete reacted, it's not even worth the bother. Todd suggests to Scott that maybe he shouldn't have been so *hard* on Pete, but Scott points out that he had to try *something* - and a few home truths might do the guy some good. With that, he stands up again and says he'd better get going. He adds:
SCOTT: Give my love to Emma, right?!
He heads out just as Des comes in with Jamie. He walks over to the counter, where Harold asks him in surprise if he shouldn't be at work. Des explains that he would've been if it hadn't been for Jamie: he had a bit of an accident and swallowed the tip off a drumstick; he had to take him to hospital to see if he was all right. Harold exclaims that that's dreadful. He then adds that Des is being remarkably calm about it. Des, however, says:
DES: Should've seen me three hours ago! Bronwyn *still* hasn't calmed down: she's dragged Mike off to the place where the drum was bought, trying to take it off the market.
Changing the subject, he asks Harold if he's had any luck with the vacancy. Harold tells him that Sharon Davies has been the only applicant. Des comments in surprise that she's only there for a couple of days. Harold, however, replies that that's not the impression she gave *him*. Des remarks that he'd have thought Harold would have *heaps* of applicants by now. Harold says:
HAROLD: Oh, we will, I'm sure, once word gets around.
Scott closes the front door, having just let Helen in. He tells her that Madge won't be back for a few hours, as she's doing a shift at the Waterhole, and he asks if *he* can help. Helen says she doesn't think so - but she then sighs and comments that she needs to talk to *someone*. Scott offers her a seat at the kitchen table and the two of them sit down. She then explains:
HELEN: It's, er, Nick Page.
SCOTT: Mr. Trouble?
HELEN: I'm not so sure - I happen to think there's a lot more to him.
SCOTT: Tell *dad* that!
HELEN: Well, whatever your father thinks, I notice he hasn't painted out his mural yet!
SCOTT: Maybe he secretly likes it?!
HELEN: Well, so he *should* - it's very good, especially since Nick's completely untrained.
SCOTT: What's the problem, then?
HELEN: Well, he was supposed to come to my art class tonight, but he called over earlier to say that he couldn't. You see, his grandmother's in hospital and he's been told not to go back to the caravan park where they live - not until *she* returns, anyway.
Scott asks where he's going to stay. Helen shrugs that he has nowhere; *she* blundered in and made a few suggestions, but all she succeeded in doing was getting his back up. Scott suggests that maybe he doesn't *want* any help. Helen, however, insists that he *does*; this is just a tough act; a front; she just wishes she knew how to get behind it. Scott sighs and tells her:
SCOTT: You've picked the wrong person for advice - I'm having exactly the same problems with Pete. You know, I want to give the guy some help, but he doesn't even want to know about it.
HELEN: You haven't given up on him?
SCOTT: No, not exactly, but he's making it pretty difficult.
Helen smiles weakly and muses that it's a good job they're not social workers: they don't seem to be doing too well! Scott insists that if Nick's that important, she'll reach him. Helen replies:
HELEN: He *is* - *very* important - if he only knew it...
Todd is still sitting on his own at a table. He's doing his homework, but Harold walks over to him and says coolly:
HAROLD: You do realise that this is a coffee lounge and not some school of study?
Todd nods that he realises. The shop door opens suddenly and Nick walks in. Seeing Todd sitting there, he says coldly:
NICK: Well, if it isn't the Erinsborough dobber.
TODD (mutters): What do *you* want?
NICK: I want to thank you for ruining my graffiti the other night, squirt. I didn't even get to finish my tag.
TODD: So what?
NICK: So that's one I owe you - and I never, but never, forget a favour...
TODD: Get lost!
Nick brushes past Todd and flips closed the folder he's got open in front of him. He then heads to the counter. Harold frowns at him as he says:
NICK: I want to apply for that job you've got going
HAROLD: I do have *other* applicants, you know?
NICK: So add me to the list.
Harold sighs and asks Nick his name. He writes it down and then asks for references. Nick replies that he doesn't have any with him, but Mrs. Helen Daniels could put in a good word. Looking suddenly more impressed, Harold asks Nick where he lives. Across on the other side of the shop, the door opens and Emma comes in. She sits down with Todd and apologises for being late. She then looks at the glum expression on his face and asks what the matter is. Todd indicates Nick standing by the counter and says;
TODD: It's that bloke over there: he's the one that did the graffiti.
EMMA (looking impressed): Did he paint the picture over it too? I think it's ace; don't you?!
TODD (bluntly): No.
EMMA: Well, *I* do. He's excellent!
TODD (snaps): Just forget him. Look, he's a goose.
EMMA: I was just *saying*.
Todd then apologises and, handing Emma a menu, tells her to pick whatever she wants.
A short time later, Harold finishes taking Nick's details and asks him if he has a number to get in touch with him. Nick replies that they don't have a 'phone, but he'll call in later in the week to see what's happening. Emma is staring at Nick, but Todd asks her curtly if she's finished. He goes to pay. Emma follows him and Nick grins at her:
NICK: Having a nice time?
EMMA (smiles): Yeah, thanks!
Harold charges Todd $7.50. Emma asks an embarrassed- looking Todd if he's got enough. Nick remarks that it's a bit much asking a girl out if you can't afford to pay the bill... With that, he heads to the door. Emma turns and watches him as he goes. He pauses by the door, looks round and winks at her! Emma then turns back to Todd, who's counting coins out onto the counter.
Nick crosses the bridge across the complex and bumps into Helen. He says hi to her, and Helen smiles in surprise that he's speaking! Nick tells her:
NICK: I *have* to - I just used you as a reference!
HELEN: You've found somewhere to stay?
NICK: No. There's a part- time job going at the Coffee Shop. I said you'd known me for a fair while and I sometimes did the odd job for you.
HELEN: Oh, really...?
NICK: I stretched it a bit. I mean, that's OK, isn't it?
HELEN: Not normally, no, but I don't suppose it matters just this once.
NICK: That's what I figured!
Helen then tells Nick that she really is concerned about his accommodation problem - but she might have found a solution. Nick starts to protest, but Helen insists quickly that it isn't what he thinks. She tells him to come to the house for afternoon tea and they'll discuss it. Nick shrugs that he supposes it can't hurt.
Des is sitting on the couch, playing with Jamie. He has the TV on, but Jamie isn't interested in it and so Des turns it off. He then suggests they play cards, but Jamie doesn't respond. Des muses:
DES: That's what I like about you, mate: you're always full of bright ideas about things to do! Well, I suppose you've got your good points - and the piece of rubber floating round your tummy isn't one of them, is it?!
At that moment, Mike and Bronwyn come in and Des asks them how they went. Bronwyn smiles that the shopkeeper didn't try to wriggle out of it at *all*. Mike adds that he was really helpful, and really sorry to hear about what happened to Jamie. Bronwyn goes on that, while they were still there, the shopkeeper took all the other drums off the shelf too. Des asks:
DES: Where did *he* get 'em?
MIKE: Well, some shonky importer who apparently was very vague about where they came from.
BRONWYN: We got his number. I won't be able to contact him for about a week, though - he's on a buying trip. When I do, I'm going to give him such a blast, he won't know what hit him.
DES: Good on ya!
Bronwyn smiles at Jamie that it won't be long before *every* Aussie kid is safe from the deadly menace of faulty drum tips - and then she'll move onto her *next* crusade! Des smiles that he doesn't know how they survived so long without her!
Scott is typing an article at the kitchen table when there's a knock on the front door. He goes and opens it to find Pete standing there. He asks Scott if he's got a few minutes, and Scott lets him in. He starts to say that what he said before... Pete interrupts him, though, and says:
PETE: That's what I've come over about. I've been thinking about it a bit and you were right. I just wanted to tell you - *and* to say I'm sorry. Thanks, mate, for forcing me to wake up to myself.
Scott holds out his hand and asks if they're still friends. Pete shakes it and says:
PETE: You bet!
The two of them go and sit down at the kitchen table and Scott asks Pete if he's thought about what he's going to do. Pete replies:
PETE: A bit. For starters, I'm going to gear up for the next Commonwealth Games. If I lay off the fracture and follow my coach's instructions, I should have a good chance.
SCOTT: The best! That's great - it really is.
PETE: But that's not all of it: I've been doing a bit of thinking about Todd and the kids at school.
SCOTT: You going to train them?
PETE: Well, it's about time I gave *something* back. I'm theirs - if they'll have me on a part- time basis.
SCOTT (smiles): They'll have you - nothing surer!
Nick is sitting with Helen at the kitchen counter, enjoying afternoon tea. He tells her:
NICK: I'm still not sure about your idea: moving in here would be weird.
HELEN: If it's your strange notion of taking charity that's stopping you, you're welcome to contribute to the food. You won't be living with strangers - you'll've already *met* us.
NICK (warily): That's the *problem*...
HELEN (realises): Oh... Jim.
NICK: Spot on - I mean, the guy's a maniac! There's no way he's going to want me here.
HELEN: Well, you'll have to admit that you didn't meet him under the best of circumstances.
NICK: Yeah... He's still not going to let me stay, though.
HELEN: I think you're wrong. He can be very reasonable once you get to know him. I'm sure he won't mind you staying here for a few weeks.
NICK (thoughtfully): Well... *maybe* it could work.
HELEN: I'm sure it *could*. Won't you at least give it a try?
NICK: I'll try, but that's all.
HELEN (smiles): That's all I'm asking.
At that moment, Todd and Emma come in through the back door. Seeing Nick sitting at the counter, Todd demands:
TODD: What's *he* doing here?
Helen tells him that Nick's going to be staying with them for a while. Nick grins at Todd slyly:
NICK: Yep - you're looking at your new room- mate!
Todd doesn't look happy.