Shona telling Mal that she wants to spend her suspension with him!
Philip meeting his new editor, Roz Kemp.
Luke asking Danni to choose between her and Steve.
Danni snaps at Luke that he's so screwed up: he can't separate a business relationship from a personal one; why should she have to choose? Luke asks her angrily if she didn't learn anything from her experiences with Ben and Kingston. Danni retorts that he *knows* she did - and since then, she's been doing things her way and her clothes have been selling. Luke tells her that he's really proud of her - so why waste time on some shyster like Steve? Danni growls that she doesn't consider his contacts and the opportunities he's giving her a waste - and *she's* calling the shots. Luke snaps:
LUKE: And what do you think he's expecting in return? You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not realise he's making a play for you.
Danni retorts that he'll get the big knock- back; she's *not in love with Steve*. Luke demands:
LUKE: What - there's *no* attraction there? Come on, Danni, money and power always turned your head before. It's not like we're entering new territory here.
DANNI: Look, I am going to be a success. Sometimes you can't choose the people you do business with. Now, you making me choose... compromising my career... that is childish and I'm not going to put up with it.
DANNI: There are no choices to *make*. You are seeing a situation that doesn't exist. Now, if you don't get your act together, you can just find yourself someone else.
With that, Danni walks off, leaving Luke looking worried.
The next morning, Philip is working on his computer when Debbie emerges from her room and asks if he's been there all night. She tells him to go and have a shower: he only has an hour before Roz arrives. As Philip heads off to the bathroom, Helen emerges from her room and warns Debbie that once people know there's a matchmaker at work, just watch them run...
Garage of No. 28
Libby is standing with Mal, asking in disbelief if he's going to do up the surgery on his own and leave Darren out of it. Mal nods that he is: he's not prepared to be in business with him anymore. Libby pleads with him, but Mal will have none of it. She walks off as Shona comes in. Shona tells Mal that she's got an adventure planned for them today. Mal, however, explains that he has to renovate the surgery. Shona offers to help, adding that she helped her father renovate his boatshed.
Roz is sitting on the couch with Holly, looking at Philip's latest draft. He tells her apologetically that he had a bit of trouble tying up the loose story strands at the end: the characters seemed to want to take over and tell the stories in their own words. Debbie joins them and tells Holly to stop bothering Roz, but Roz assures her that she *loves* dogs and wishes she had room for one in her apartment. Debbie asks where her apartment is and Roz replies that it's in the city: she pays a fortune for the view but never gets time to enjoy it! Debbie smiles:
DEBBIE: That is like *you*, dad! [To Roz] He's always saying he never gets the chance to do what he wants to do!
Roz asks Philip what he likes, and he tells her that he means going to see movies and the theatre. Roz says she's the same. With that, she gets up and heads off to read the manuscript in full. When she's gone, Debbie smiles at her father that Roz *seems* confident. Philip, however, replies that, to tell the truth, he's not bothered about his romance novel - he can write them standing on his head. Debbie tells him that she thinks Roz liked his short story too. Philip comments that they'll just have to wait and see.
Danni is sitting with Mal, telling him in frustration that Luke is *so* unreasonable, making her choose between him and Steve. Mal comments that partnerships are *always* dodgy, and in her line of business it's only a matter of time before Steve starts having a say about her designs. Shona comes in at that moment, dressed in overalls, and she mutters at Mal that she thought he was only getting a coffee. She drags him out!
Outside the Surgery
Darren runs over to Mal as he and Shona begin to carry tools into the surgery. He comments to Mal that he's starting work. Mal retorts:
MAL: Yeah - and you're not involved.
Darren tells Mal that he can't do all this work by himself; the *two* of them are Handy Sam's. Mal just shrugs that the business name means nothing - he can always sell his share and start again. Darren mutters:
DARREN: You can't do that to a mate.
MAL (coldly): Why don't you start thinking about what you've done to *me*? If I need you, I'll call you, Darren.
Debbie serves a customer at the bar as Darren walks in and steps behind her, causing her to spill a jug of water in the process. She asks him angrily what he's doing there, and he retorts that he's clearing the lines. Debbie tells him that he's *not*: that's something Cheryl wouldn't trust him to do. Darren demands:
DARREN: What are you on about?
DEBBIE (hisses): Darren, I just don't want anything going wrong on my shift.
DARREN: Yes, and *I'm* telling you to butt out.
As the argument continues, Darren gives Debbie a shove, causing her to fall back against the shelf of bottles. She's OK, though, but she snarls:
DEBBIE: Get out of here.
DARREN (shouts): *You* get outta here.
DEBBIE: I'm *working* here.
DARREN: And that makes you a dictator all of a sudden?
DEBBIE: God, it does when you're being an obnoxious, irresponsible pain.
DARREN: Look, if I want a character assassination, I'll ask for one, OK? But then again, why would I want one from someone as screwed- up as *you*?
Cheryl appears in the bar suddenly and snaps:
She then asks Debbie for a word outside.
Outside Chez Chez
Debbie emerges from the bar, followed by Cheryl, who demands to know what that was all about. Debbie retorts:
DEBBIE: Darren just came charging in there with some chip on his shoulder, he practically knocked me over, he nearly spilt a jug of water all over a customer—
CHERYL: You seem to have been giving as good as you got, from what I saw.
She then warns Debbie that if she wants to go on working at Chez Chez, she'd better get used to the idea of Darren working there too. She adds that she knows there's history, but that's what it is: history - and she tells Debbie not to put her in the position where she has to make a choice, as blood's always thicker...
Steve comes into the Holy Roll as Danni takes a carton drink out of the 'fridge. She just says a flat 'hi' to him, and he asks in surprise where the smile is that normally makes his day; he thought her shop being re- done and promoting her business would put a *permanent* smile on her face. Danni tells him that that's the problem: Luke doesn't see the promotion in the same way as *them*. Steve comments that it's almost impossible to do business with people you care about - and living under the same roof does makes things worse: you never get a chance to think anything over for yourself. He adds:
STEVE: You need a place of your own.
DANNI: Well, there's not much I can really do about that.
STEVE: You never know - something might just turn up out of the blue...
Cheryl is standing in No. 22, sighing heavily as she looks around. Steve walks in and smiles that he's sorry for being late. Cheryl just mutters that she's got a bone to pick with him. Steve tells her that he's sorry he hasn't found a buyer, but he's shown a lot of people through. Cheryl retorts:
CHERYL: That's the problem: there's things missing.
She adds that she means little things like ornaments. Looking surprised, Steve insists that he'd know if people were stealing - and he can't be in all of the rooms all of the time. Cheryl just shrugs:
CHERYL: Well, if you can't provide better security, I'm going to find myself an agent who *can*.
Steve, however, tells her that she has to realise that she's created part of this problem herself: the house is *empty*; if there was someone around when he showed people through... He then tells her that Danni was telling him that she was thinking of moving out. Cheryl frowns in surprise:
CHERYL: Moving out from *Luke*?
STEVE: Well, it's still confidential at this stage, but such a perfect opportunity. I mean, Danni's someone you trust, and think of all the hassles if you were to move back in with the baby's gear and everything.
Cheryl asks Steve if he's sure Danni's moving out from Luke. Steve replies that she was the one who told him. Cheryl says she'll have a word with her.
A short while later, Danni opens the front door at No. 30 to find Cheryl on the step. The two of them head into the lounge room and Cheryl tells her daughter that she needs her help: the people who are inspecting the house are knocking off everything that isn't nailed down, so she needs someone who can house- sit 'til she finds a buyer. Danni says:
CHERYL: Well, I'd be ever grateful - and Luke wouldn't mind too much, would he?
DANNI (darkly): No. No, Luke wouldn't mind at *all*.
Cheryl asks if they're having problems. Danni retorts that *he* is. She then asks when she should move in. Cheryl tells her immediately - if not sooner!
Darren brings a box of bottles round to put behind the bar. He tells Debbie that he's sorry about what happened before: he just lost it for a second; it's been a bad couple of days for him. Debbie frowns:
DEBBIE: So you just take your frustrations out by attacking women?
DARREN: Look, I didn't attack you, I just pushed you away - but it wasn't fair and I'm apologising. Fair enough?
Debbie just suggests coolly that they do their jobs.
Luke is saying uncertainly to Danni:
LUKE: So you're not doing it to get away from *me*?
DANNI (rertorts): Mum's being *robbed*.
Luke says he knows, but if Danni's trying to let him down gently, the gentle way *hurts* - so if she's going to make a clean break, then just get it over and done with. Danni asks if that's the way he feels. Luke retorts that maybe she couldn't be bothered to make the effort and she's too gutless to say it. Danni snaps:
DANNI: That's fine by me. If that is the way you feel, it's all over - but remember: *you're* the one who laid it on the line.
Philip opens the front door to Roz, who tells him that she's finished his romance - but what really struck her was his short story. Philip smiles that it was one of those things that just seemed to manage to write itself; the words just kept pouring out. Roz says:
ROZ: Out of a few *other* people, unfortunately.
PHILIP (blankly): I'm sorry?
Roz hands him a copy of 'War of the Worlds' and tells him to take a look at the page she's marked; she asks if it looks familiar, as page 32 of his short story is the same, almost word for word. Philip gasps:
PHILIP: How could this have happened?
Roz then indicates some other books she's brought with her and asks if he's read any of *those*. Philip sits there in shock. He asks if it could have come from his subconscious and Roz nods that it's easily done. Philip murmurs that he feels such a fraud. Roz suggests that maybe they should have another meeting about his romance novel. She tells him not to take the short story disappointment too hard, and she heads out, leaving Philip ripping up his manuscript.
Outside the Surgery
Darren joins Mal and asks how the job's going. Mal replies that it's pretty good - Shona's been helping. Darren comments that it's a pretty big job to do by yourself. Mal stops what he's doing and says:
MAL: Mate, if I could still trust you, you would've been in with a chance. You know that.
DARREN: I'm just sorry that it came to this.
Darren goes on that his trouble is that every time he does something wrong, he somehow seems to manage to make it worse - it's been that way all his life; but even though he threw away this job, he'd hate to think that he's lost a mate. Mal smiles:
MAL: You haven't.
DARREN: That's something. I'll see you around, Mal.
He walks off. After a second, though, Mal calls to him to hang on. Darren turns to him and Mal says:
MAL: If you want to give the business another go...
DARREN: What - you'll take me back?
MAL: As long as you don't stuff things up again.
DARREN: No. No, no, I won't. I promise I won't let you down.
MAL: You better not.
They shake hands. Darren heads off as Shona walks over and asks Mal what happened to 'no more Mr. Nice Guy'. Mal shrugs that Darren can do some things that *he can't*. Shona grins:
SHONA: Yeah - and you're about as tough as fairy floss!
Cheryl is helping Danni move some stuff into No. 22, saying to her that she doesn't know how long this will be for; if the house sells the tomorrow, she'll have to ask her to move back in with Luke. Danni sighs:
DANNI: If Luke will *have* me back.
Cheryl assures her that all relationships go through a rough patch; give him a few days and he'll come round. Danni sighs that he just can't accept that she can do business with one man and be in love with *him* at the same time. Cheryl tells her that this will force Luke to realise what he's losing. She adds that, besides, Luke isn't going to give up on a fabulous girl like *her* without a fight.
Outside the Surgery
It's dark when Mal and Shona emerge from the surgery and Mal locks up. Shona remarks that it's a nice night. Mal smiles that it's been a great day, too - they got a lot more done than expected. He adds:
MAL: You weren't too bored, were you?
SHONA (smiles): You're never bored when you're in love.
MAL (surprised): Sorry?
SHONA: What's the matter?
MAL: I sort of heard you say the 'L' word.
SHONA: I *did*.
SHONA: It's just a word, Mal.
MAL: Fair enough.
SHONA: Does it scare you?
MAL: No. It's just a bit soon, that's all.
SHONA: Sometimes you know these things straight away.
MAL: So they tell me.
SHONA: You don't have to say it if you don't want to.
MAL: Oh no, I've got *some* kind of feeling for you.
SHONA (smiles): Seems like a good place to start...
They kiss passionately.
Danni is lying asleep on the couch, in front of the TV, which is on loudly, when the front door opens silently and Steve walks in. He watches Danni for a few seconds and then leans down and starts stroking her hair. He kisses her neck as Danni stirs and murmurs:
DANNI: Luke? Is that you?
STEVE (gently): It's OK - it's only me.
Danni wakens fully. She leaps up, looking suddenly horrified, and yells at Steve to get out. She then demands to know what he's doing there. Steve tells her that he knew she was there by herself and he was just checking she was OK. Danni asks angrily how he got in. He replies that he's the agent; he's got a key. Danni asks why he didn't knock. Steve tells her that he did, but he heard the TV on so he figured she didn't hear him - and when he saw her on the couch, sleeping, he couldn't resist. Danni snaps:
DANNI: Steve, I do not want you coming in here uninvited, whether you're mum's agent or not, OK? And I do not want you sneaking up on me while I'm asleep and kissing me. Do I make myself clear? You're completely out of line. Never *ever* do anything like that again.
Steve stands there sheepishly as Danni glares at him.