DIANE hangs up the phone and wonders what Nikki wants to see her about. Jack says it is time for him to tell her goodbye. Now that she is going on her trip to parts unknown, he thinks it is best that they don't see each other again. Diane tells him that he is a dear friend and she doesn't know how she can say goodbye. As he hugs her goodbye, he says that she is Victor's now and forever.
Tony goes by Grace's office; he has tickets to a concert---her favorite group---and thinks it would do her good to get out and relax. She tells him that she can't go anywhere; she and Nick have too much work to catch up on. Tony is visibly hurt. He says that if she is too busy, other people aren't. Grace laughs; what is that suppose to mean? Tony just leaves. Outside the door, he thinks that something is going on and there is only one person who can tell him what it is.
VICTOR summons Sharon to his office. After she asks about Nikki's health, he gets right to the point. Nikki will be coming home soon and there are certain thins he expects of her (Sharon). He wants her back at the ranch with her husband where she belongs. How will Nikki feel if she finds that her son and his wife have serious problems in their marriage? Nikki doesn't need that kind of stress after all she has been through. He wants her to do everything in her power to resolve her difficulties with his son. Can I count on you to make that happen? He asks. Sharon says that they have some very serious problems. She says that she has tried to get through to Nick, but she can't do it. She doesn't believe that Nicholas even wants her to come back. Victor offers to talk to his son for her after she refuses to tell him what their problem really is.
After Victor leaves the office, Sharon calls Nick. She tells him that she was summoned to Victor's office and told to patch things up. Now his father is going to see him. "What did you tell him?" Nick asks. "Did you tell him about your kid?" Sharon tells him that her name is Cassie, but no, she respected his wishes as selfish as she thinks they were.
PAUL stops by his mother's house and finds that she is still depressed. He hates seeing her like that; he wishes she would get out more, meet people, but Mary insists that she if fine in the house alone.
Later, Paul tells Chris about his mother and how she seems even more depressed today. He is worried about his mom and wonders if he needs to get professional help. He certainly cannot take this depression lightly. Chris tells him that she has an idea. She wants the names and numbers of all her friends, especially those from her church. While Paul looks on, Chris begins to call Mary'' friends and tells them that Mary needs her friends around her now. Each of them is delighted to call on her and they will do it today.
VICTOR walks into Nick's office. "I will be brief and to the point," he says. "You and your wife have been living apart long enough. I want you and Sharon living in the same house before your mother comes home. I want you to end this separation now." Nick tells him that it was Sharon that moved out, but Victor doesn't give a damn who moved out. He wants this situation rectified now. It is not that simple, Nick tries to tell him. "Then why don't you explain it to me," Victor tells him. "She has reached out to you to no avail." So it is my fault, Nick begins, but Victor interrupts and says he doesn't care whose fault it is, just take care of it. "I don't want your mother upset when she comes home."
"You don't want Mom upset!" Nick shouts. "What about you, Dad? Talk about upset! When Mom finds out her marriage is all a fake, don't you think she will be upset? She goes home alone while you and Diane resume your romantic trip! What a joke!"
"If you think I would do that to your mother, if you think that I am that insensitive, then we have nothing more to discuss." Victor turns and walks out of the office, leaving Nick looking angrier than ever.
NIKKI is sitting up in bed when Diane arrives. She tells Diane that she is getting better and hopes to be going home soon. A Diane think that is incredible, especially when they didn't think she would ever leave the hospital. She starts to apologize for the way that sounded, but Nikki tells her that it is the way everyone thought. "If it weren't for God, Victor and----you, Diane, I would be dead," Nikki admits. Diane doesn't think that she and Victor should be put in the same company as the Almighty, but she hopes that they can start over and let bygones be bygones. "As far as I am concerned, Diane," Nikki begins, "all our differences are behind us. I am amazed by what you did. To step aside so that my family could be reunited---if you truly knew what this marriage means---Victor and I never stopped loving each other and now our family is reunited. It is a miracle and it is al because of you. How can I ever thank you?"
"Stop," Diane tells her. "Before you say anything more, you do not understand."
"I don't understand," Nikki asks. "Diane there is very little that I do not understand about that man."
"Nikki, Victor is very much in love with me. I don't know what you have been led to believe, but his real commitment is to me. It is Victor's intent to divorce you and remarry me so we can go on with our life together as planned. Really, Nikki, I am not making this up."
Victor only did this because he thought I was dying? He doesn't want to remain together? Diane tells her that he wouldn't have put it that way, but, yes, that is the reality. Nikki asks her to leave now.
As Diane gets her coat she says that she has a lot to do if she and Victor are to resume their second honeymoon. Nikki says that she is sorry that her getting shot interfered with their plans. Diane says that they both wanted to be there for her; they are both thankful that she pulled through. They will be thinking of her on their trip and hoping for a speedy recovery. She leaves the room leaving Nikki looking totally shocked by the truth.
MARY is sitting alone when there is a knock at the door. She hesitates to answer, but when they keep knocking, she finally goes to the door. It is one of her friends who say that she hasn't seen Mary in so long that she came by with some strawberry jam. As they talk, there is another knock at the door. It is another friend with another jar of jam. Soon, there are several friends gathered around while Mary serves coffee. There is another knock and it is a friend with freshly baked bread. Since everyone is there, they decide to have an impromptu meeting. They encourage Mary to chair some of the benefits, but she doesn't feel like she can. They then decide that she could co-chair the programs and she says she will try.
After all the ladies have gone, Mary calls Paul and thanks her. She knows that he was the one that got them all together. Paul tries to tell her that it was Christine's idea, but she stops him. He tells his mother that no matter how it came about, he is glad that she is feeling better. She promises to try.
SHARON is back home when Tony stops by. He wonders how things are going and she tells him that they aren't going good at all. She has begun to wonder if she and Nick will get through this. She can't talk to him for five minutes without him yelling at her. She thinks that he does not even want to work it out. She is at the end of her rope. He spends all this time at work, just like his father. She has tried over and over to reach him, but he won't give Cassie a chance. Tony wonders if she wants him to go and knock some sense into Nick. Those two obviously don't know what they are doing, Tony says. Sharon wonders what he is talking about, and he explains that Nick and Grace are both spending all their time at the office. They have to be workaholics, otherwise how could they leave a fine hunk like him and a fine lady like Sharon alone? Tony has a good idea. If Doris will look after the kids, why don't they go out for dinner tonight. Sharon thinks that that would be great.
GRACE reenters Nick's office and finds him scowling and throwing things around on his desk. When he says he doesn't want to talk about it, she goes to leave. But he calls her back. He tells her that what he needs is a drink. Want to join me? He asks. She says sure, and they both leave the office.
THE NURSE helps Nikki to the couch. Just as she is settled, Victor comes in and exclaims, "At long last, you are out of bed. You are doing so well; this should be encouraging for you."
"Don't worry about me," Nikki tells him. "The crisis is over. Now you can go on with your life."
"What is the matter with you?" Victor demands.
Nikki tells him that she is grateful to him for what he did. But, he doesn't have to play the masquerade any longer. Remarrying her was a compassionate gesture, but now she knows the truth. He gave her the will to live, even if it was only a fantasy, and she thanks him from the bottom of her soul. "Diane was here," she says as her voice level raises. "Victor, dammit, why didn't you tell me? Why did I have to hear the truth from her? I called her over here to thank her for her sacrifice but----now I understand; you thought I was dying. Somehow you managed to marry me, and I complicated matters by not dying . . ."
"Be quiet!" Victor interrupts. "Be quiet and listen to me! I had no idea that Diane would come to see you." Nikki tells him that Diane came at her request. Victor goes on, "I know what Diane told you, but things are different now. I'm not denying that what she said was true, but things are different. You and I are married; you are my wife now. It is how it always should have been. It is how it will be if you will still have me."
"If I still want you?" Nikki can't believe what she is hearing. "You know how much I love you."
Victor takes her hands and helps her to stand. They kiss. She is laughing and crying all at once. I cannot believe this is real, she says. They kiss again. Victor asks if this is real enough for her, but she doesn't know. Maybe they should try it again. He agrees, but first, he says, he has some news. He has talked to her doctors and he is taking he home tomorrow.
"Home? Tomorrow?" Nikki asks. "Yes," answers Victor. "Mrs. Victor Newman, I am taking you home tomorrow."
NINA grabs a cup of coffee in the hospital cafeteria. As she drinks and looks around, she is shocked to see Michael Baldwin at another table. When he sees her, he walks over and asks what she is doing there. "I'm here for a checkup; what's your excuse. Sitting down, he explains that he has a job there now; he is their part-time Ombudsman. They are letting you interact with people? Nina asks. He tells her that he is very good with handling people's problems. Nina supposes that he expects her to run back to Christine and tell her what a great humanitarian he is, but Michael says she can do as she thinks best. For his part, he isn't going to pressure Christine any more about helping him. He excuses himself and leaves; Nina sits there with a very confused look on her face.
JILL is surprised that Jack thinks her budget proposal is out of whack. Do you think that is going to fly, he asks her. She answers that it won't if the men that read it are surly maladjusted men with chips on their shoulders. Jack explains that he has a right to feel that way. Why does Victor always get everything he wants? He was dumped by the love of his life so that she could marry Victor. Now he has dumped her to be married to Nikki, but he will be going back to Diane and their honeymoon.
"And leaving you to lick your wounds," Jill observes. "You really do care for her, don't you?" Jill says that she can see that he is hurt and she is sorry. But what about that old clichť that there are more fish in the sea? Jack says he has given up fishing; since Diane chose Victor, he hasn't had the heart.
Jill wonders if Jack is just a "monk-in-the-making" but he observes that since she left Keith, they both have joined the "celibate life." Jill becomes embarrassed with the sexual talk and says she doesn't want to talk about it. Jack asks what is a little "sex talk" between a couple of old friends. When he begins to remind her of "once upon a time," she tells him not to go there.
Jack becomes serious. He didn't have lunch and he is famished. Would she care for dinner with him? She reminds him that she is living with Katherine, so meals are no picnics. He tells her that he has something besides a picnic in mind. "Okay," she tells him. "As long as it is in the dining room and not the bedroom, I am willing."
NIKKI is painfully walking about in her room when Vicki comes to see her. Nikki tells her that she will be going home tomorrow and Vicki is surprised. She wonders if her father knows this; has he been here today? Nikki says that Victor is taking her home. Vicki looks uncomfortable and Nikki wonders why. Vicki asks if her father has talked to her about what it will be like at home. Nikki sees where she is headed and assures her that the family is really together. She knows the reason her father married her, but things have changed; he is staying with her. Vicki is thrilled, but wonders how this will effect Diane. She is sure that she knows nothing of this. When she and Nicholas talked with Diane, she honestly believed that Victor was going to stay with her. I wonder if he has told her yet, Vicki says.
At CRIMSON LIGHTS, Tony and Sharon share a coffee. Sharon begins to tell Tony that she owes him; this is the first time she has felt detached from her miserable life. Tony tells her not to go there; they are here to enjoy themselves, not to commiserate together. He tells her that he has tickets to the Purple Tiger's concert, but Grace didn't want to go with him. There is still time if Sharon wants to go, but she is happy just sitting and talking. Tony thinks that Nick needs his head examined; why can't he see what a special lady and a special mom she is?
NICK AND GRACE are having drinks at Gina's. Grace tells Nick that he can always count on her to listen if he needs to talk. Nick says that she is the only one who understands him. They smile at each other as they decide to order more drinks.
CHRISTINE is telling Nina about Mary's depression and what she did to help her out. She notices that Nina isn't really listening. Nina explains that she is trying to decide whether to tell Chris about what happened earlier at the hospital. She then tells Chris that Michael Baldwin is now working at Memorial Hospital. Chris is shocked to hear this. Nina explains that Michael will be crusading for patient's rights. Now she understands why Chris is so mixed up; Michael seemed so sincere. Chris says that in a way, she holds Michael's life in her hands. She wonders if all that time in prison really rehabilitated him. If it did, then she is keeping him from being everything that he could be. If only there was a way to know for sure!
A little later, while looking over the mail, Nina finds a postal card that Chris received. Chris tells her to go ahead and read it. It is from Danny who is writing that his tour is going well. He misses her and can't wait to get back to her. About that time, the doorbell rings; it is none other than Danny.
Once inside, Danny tells Chris that he really missed her. Giving Nina looks, Nina gets the idea and excuses herself; she has to pick up Philip. Once she has left, Danny once again tells Chris that the tour went well, but he missed her. He then tells her to wait; he brought something back for her. It was something that he saw in Canada and it reminded him of her. He goes out into the hallway and brings back a very large gift-wrapped package. Go ahead and open it, he tells her. Opening the box, Chris is surprised to find a very large black cricket! Chris says that it is adorable---perfect. No, he says, you are perfect. "I thought of you every minute of every day," he says. "This was the longest week I have ever known. We were meant to be together." As he pulls her into his embrace, Chris gives the black cricket a wide-eyed preposterous look.
MICHAEL returns home and a bouncy Phyllis rushes out to greet him. She has the greatest idea. She wants to move away and start a new life. Somewhere warm, she says. Somewhere far away. She is sick of the snow. Michael tells her that he has both personal and professional reasons not to leave. What? She asks. That stupid job? Being a do-gooder that doesn't pay a living wage? She tells him that he has a million dollar mind stuffed with knowledge that is worth something, but he wants to hang around this town trying to get his license back. She is sick of it. He tells her that he likes his job and he is staying away from Christine. She needs to think about him without any pressure. When Michael finally gets enough of her ranting, he tells her to keep her negative thoughts to herself.
After apologizing, Phyllis wonders how she can get more money out of Danny. Michael tells her that the only way is by remarrying him. She tells him that the day she remarries Danny will be the day that Christine goes to the bar association for him. He looks at her and says, "We'll see who has the last laugh."
DIANE is sitting on the sofa looking at a picture of Victor and herself. She thinks back to the time that told her that their marriage was very important to him. He tells her that he adores her and Nikki will never interfere in their lives again. Victor enters the apartment and stands looking at her. She sees him and rushes to him. They embrace. He tells her that he is sorry he hasn't been around much lately, but she answers that she knows that a lot has been going on. He asks if she would like a drink and she says that if he is having one, she will. Victor pours and Diane toasts to a wonderful husband and a fabulous second honeymoon. I can't wait to be on our way again, she adds. They drink and then they embrace.
Victor becomes quiet. Diane wonders if there is anything she can do for him. Talk to me, she asks. "I hate this," Victor says. "I may as well get to the point---there is no other way. I have changed my mind; I want to stay married to Nikki."
"What? Did I hear you right? You are staying with Nikki?"
"You don't know how deeply sorry I am," Victor says. "Is that all you have to say? You stand there tearing my world apart and you say you are sorry," Diane cries.
Victor says that he never anticipated that this would happen. Diane asks if saying he is sorry makes it alright. Victor says that, no, it is never okay to hurt another human being like I am hurting you. But that is not stopping you, is it? She asks. "I trusted you. I believed you when you said we would be remarried. Do you remember when you told me that I had no reason to feel insecure? You wanted me to step aside to give Nikki her dying wish and I did because I believed in our marriage. Now you are just going to walk away?"
Victor says that this is something beyond his control and Diane says that those are strange words coming from Victor Newman. Victor says that Nikki is going to live, but she is not a well woman. He needs to stay with her and give her a chance to get healthy and strong again. This was not his plan; Diane cannot think that it was.
Diane reminds him again of what she did for him. How could you do this to me, she asks. How could you throw this in my face? Do you have any idea how utterly betrayed I feel?
Victor is almost in tears as he tells her that that wasn't his intent. He only wanted the best for her.
"Did you ever love me?" Diane asks. Victor tells he that he did love her. Diane says that it was all a charade. She thought it was the most incredible to happen to her, but now she wonders if any of it was real.
As Victor reaches out for her, she steps back and tells him not to touch her. "Just go, damn you, go!"
Slowly, Victor walks to the door. He turns back to Diane and tells her that he is so very sorry. When she doesn't answer, he leaves. From outside the door, Victor can hear Diane as she cries out. "No! No! Oh, No!" she cries. "No, no, no, no," she cries out as she crumbles down on the sofa. She gathers the picture of Victor and herself and holds it to her chest as she continues to cry.
VICTOR is at the hospital. He calls Jack because he has something for Jack to do: he wants Jack to stop by the penthouse and check on Diane, because she might need him. Hanging up, Jack wonders what that is all about.
RYAN asks Nina if Phillip can come to his apartment for dinner with him and Tricia. Nina says that she will not force Phillip to do something that he doesn't want to do. Ryan doesn't want to be put in the position where he has to choose between his son and the woman in his life. When Phillip comes in, Ryan invites him to dinner. When he finds out that "she" will be there, he declines the invitation. Nina tells Ryan to go home and she will talk to Phillip.
MEG thinks that it is great of Tricia to try to get close to Phillip, but she wonders if it will work. She is also worried about Tricia living with Ryan; she says that Ryan is getting everything he wants without having to give her a commitment. Tricia says that she will have her commitment just as soon as the six months waiting period is up. Anyway, if didn't feel some sort of commitment to her, why is he trying so hard to get his son to accept her?
Nina talks with Phillip. She tells him that his father was disappointed that he didn't go to dinner with him. Maybe he would have fun if he went, she says. He answers that he wouldn't have fun if "she" was there, but Nina tells him that his father has a right to be with anyone he chooses. The divorce is a fact and Phillip has to accept that things will never be the same as they were. Your dad loves you, she reminds him, and I know that you love your father. Is it fair to make your father choose? She tells him that she will respect anything he decides, but she wants him to think about it.
RYAN arrives home a little down because he had no luck with Phillip. He says that his son has a lot of adjusting to do; right now he is angry at everyone. Tricia offers to leave so that the two of them could have dinner alone, but he adamant Phillip has to get used to the idea that they are together. The phone rings and it is Nina. She just put Phillip in a cab and sent him to Ryan's place.
In a few minutes, Phillip arrives. He sits on the couch looking like he is being punished. Ryan tells him that Tricia has made spaghetti for them, but he isn't hungry. He offers to watch TV with the boy, but he just shrugs his shoulders and says whatever they want to do. Ryan remembers the presents and asks Tricia to get them. There is a small one from Tricia, which Phillip opens first. It is an electronic game that is all the rage. Next he opens the larger one. It is a new catcher's mitt. Once he has opened his gifts, Phillip is ready to leave. Ryan begs him not to go. Suddenly Ryan begins to act like a crazy fool running around the room like the Hunchback and speaking like a hillbilly one minute and a gangster the next. He is so funny, that Phillip breaks down and laughs. Phillip decides to stay after all.
NICK AND GRACE continue to drink at Gina's. Nick tells her that he is having fun; he is sick of home. He tells her that she has helped him to clear his head. He thinks that they should do this more often; Grace says that he is the leader and she is only the follower. When Nick says that he is dreading going home, she tells him that he doesn't have to go home. He gives her a questioning look, but she tells him that she meant that they could go back to the office and get some work done. He likes that idea, so he gets the check and they leave.
SHARON AND TONY return to an empty apartment. Sharon explains that Doris and a neighbor has taken the children to story hour at the library. She checks for messages, but she is disappointed that there aren't any. She tells Tony that she feels so good about tonight; it was just what she needed. She is grateful to him for letting her escape real life even if it was only for a short time. Tony cannot understand where Nick is coming from. Sharon says that every day she fells that Nick wants less and less to do with her. She doesn't know what to do about it! "Nick is crazy," Tony says. "Any guy would be lucky to have a woman like you." He hugs her and tells her that Nick will eventually come around.
NIKKI is sleeping when Casey comes into her room. She awakens and sees Casey with her bags. Is it time for you to go? She asks her sister. Casey explains that she needs to get back to her work. Since Nikki is now doing so well and will be going home tomorrow, this is the time to go. They bid each other a tearful goodbye.
VICKI is working late when Neil stops by. She offers him a glass of wine, but he declines. She asks him about Dru and Lily. She says that they are like "birds of a feather;" neither can hold on to a spouse. Neil says that their respective spouses cannot hold on to them. They talk about their business beginnings. Vicki observes that he worked hard to get through college; he admits that with scholarships, extra jobs, and surviving on peanut butter sandwiches, he made it. She tells him that she has tremendous respect him. Strange how they started out so differently but ended up at the same place. Neil says that he respects her abilities. He asks if she would like to have dinner some time. When she agrees, he says he will call her. She tells him that he had better or she will be calling him.
DIANE is just standing in the darkened apartment looking out the penthouse windows when Jack arrives. She ignores the doorbell, but Jack calls out to her and continues to call out until she finally opens the door. "I don't have to ask how you are," Jack says after taking one look at her. Diane walks back to the window and stares out. Jack asks what she sees out there. When she doesn't answer, he gets really concerned. "Something is wrong. I want to help you!" Diane says that nobody can help.
Jack brings her a glass of water and insists that she drink. She tells him that he is really considerate for stopping by. What did that man do to you? Jack asks. Diane says that it was just as Jack predicted; Victor has decided to stay with Nikki. Jack says that he is so sorry and he really means that. She is only a woman who wanted to believe in her husband, but Diane tells him that she has been stupid. No, he says, you have been blindsided. Diane says that all the time Victor was telling her his decision, she thought that she would die. She keeps hoping that she will wake up and find that it was only a bad dream. But I am not, am I? She asks. No, Jack says sadly, I am afraid you aren't. Not this time.
I can't believe that my marriage is over! "You tried to warn me!" Diane says. "You told me not to put my faith in Victor, but I thought it was just your bad attitude toward Victor." Jack tells her that he is sorry that he was right. "I could strangle that man," he says angrily. "How could he just come in here and drop the bomb while all the time you were expecting him to take you away on your trip? After all the sacrifices you made and he just throws it back in your face!" She asks him not to say any more; she feels badly enough.
"What am I going to do?" she cries. "Victor was my whole life; I loved him so much, but he is gone now. Now I have nothing---nothing and no one!"
"You have me," Jack tells her as he gathers his sobbing friend in his arms. "You will always have me---always."
VICTOR walks into Nikki's room and just stands looking at her. "Are you going to come in or stand and stare at me all day?" Nikki asks. Victor walks over to the bed and they have a big hug and kiss. He sits beside the bed and asks how she is doing. She says that she is almost as good as new. All the doctors are pleased with her progress. She tells him that Casey has gone back to her hospital. As Victor gets a sad look on his face, Nikki becomes concerned and asks him what is wrong.
When Victor doesn't answer, Nikki guesses that he has seen Diane. You told her, didn't you? She asks. It must have been so difficult for you, she adds. Victor says that Diane will never want for anything; he will always take care of her. Nikki says that that is because he is a kind and generous man.
Victor wants to talk about something else. He is worried about taking her back to the ranch, which is haunted by tragic memories. He wants to build her a new house. They can rent an estate until the new place is built or they can live in a hotel suite. Nikki agrees that horrible things happened at the ranch, but above all, it was a happy place for her and it will be again. It is the home that he took her to when they were married. She can deal with the nightmare that happened there if she has Victor and the children at her side. In time, she says, the bad memories will fade. She tells him that she loves her. Victor says he loves her as he lays his head on her chest.
PAUL enters Christine's office just as she and another lawyer are finishing up a discussion about "an idiot lawyer." Paul is just glad he isn't that "idiot lawyer." He is there for his daily "Christine fix." Chris tells him that he has always been quite the conversationalist---among other things. As he puts his arms around her, Paul says that he is glad that she remembers. Chris is glad that he hasn't pressured her; that is all that has made this situation bearable.
DORIS and Sharon are talking. Doris reminds her that she is both a wife and mother. When Sharon snaps at her, she tells her daughter not to take that tone of voice with her. When Sharon mentions in passing that Nikki will be going home tomorrow, Doris, even though surprised, tells her that she must go back home to the ranch. She is either a part of that family or she isn't. Which is it going to be, Sharon, Doris asks. Sharon doesn't think that she has a marriage any longer, even though Nick hasn't said so in so many words; but she is a mother and has children who need her. She doesn't think things are so black and white, the way Doris does. However, Doris disagrees and advises her daughter to get out to that ranch and support Nikki. If she doesn't, she will be making a huge mistake.
MARY arrives at Paul's office and has an intimate talk with Lynn. She tells her about how Paul helped her out earlier, but she doesn't know if it will help in the long run. The best thing about it was knowing that so many people cared, but nothing like this has ever happened to her before. Sometimes, it is the most difficult task just to get out of bed in the mornings.
CHRIS wonders if she can pick Paul's mind a bit. She is worried about Sharon and Cassie. She thinks that she should get more information about Cassie's adoptive grandmother from Tony and Grace. If the grandmother would sign custody papers, Sharon would be in the best position. Otherwise, she may not have a leg to stand on if his goes to court.
DANNY looks at a picture of Chris. "I am tired of playing this waiting game," he says aloud. "I want Chris now. I have to make something happen and NOW!" He storms out of his apartment.
OLIVIA calls Neil at his office and invites him for a late supper with her and Malcolm. They can even invite a fourth, if he wishes; Malcolm already has someone lined up. Neil agrees to the supper, but passes on the date. After he hangs up, he thinks about being "Neil, the fifth wheel." He calls Vicki and asks if she would like to go with him. She agrees. Later, he calls and talks with Malcolm. He is bringing a guest but won't say who she is; he will let it be a surprise.
ALICE JOHNSON is pacing the floor while Millie tries to do some needlework. When Millie asks her to stop pacing because she is making her nervous, Alice swings on her mother, asking her what she has to be nervous about. How could you give my daughter away to strangers?
Millie reminds her that she wasn't around for years and these people were taking Cassie to her birth mother. She felt that Cassie would be better off; her birth mother could give her so much more: a lot of land to play on, horses to ride, etc. So, they had money, Alice says. She grills her mother about how "these people" were dressed, the kind of car they were driving, whether they offered her money, anything that could help her to find these people again.
Millie admits that she has talked to Cassie several times and she is a happy child---a lot happier than she was here. Millie wants to know the telephone number where she reached Cassie, but Millie says that each time, Cassie has called her. She doesn't even want to know where Cassie is, because Alice would just try to get it out of her. But, as Alice sits contemplating her mother, she is thinking that she knows more than she is saying. "I'll get it out of you, Old Woman, just wait and see if I don't."
MALCOLM AND OLIVIA are wondering who Neil's date can be. Malcolm didn't even know that his brother was shopping. Just then, there is a knock at the door and Malcolm and Olivia fight to get to the door first.
As they open the door, Neil is standing there. They welcome him, but thought he was bringing a date. "I did," Neil smiles. He reaches out and pulls Victoria into the doorway. Malcolm and Olivia's jaws drop to the floor when they see her.
Recovering, they invite Victoria in and serve wine all around. Vicki says that Neil has helped her to keep her head on straight; he has really been a Godsend! She mentions that her marriage is over; one has to move on, she says. Neil and I are "kindred spirits." Olivia suggests that they go in to dinner.
MARY is telling Lynn that the ladies want her to co-chair the May Flower Show, but she isn't sure that she is up to it. Paul walks in and tells her that she would be great for the show. Mary says that too many people will be counting on her; it is hard enough trying to keep her life in order, much less all the things that go into arranging a flower show. Paul says that they will get through it together. This makes Mary happy and she throws her arms around her son.
The meal is over and Neil compliments Olivia on terrific Salmon steaks. He tells Malcolm that he is a lucky man. Victor begins clearing the table; her mother taught her that when she is a guest, she helps clear the table. Olivia says that the least she can do is help her. While the two are in the kitchen, Malcolm looks at Neil and asks what is going on? This is Victoria Newman of the Newmans! Victor Newman's daughter! Are you crazy? Neil tries to convince his brother that he and Vicki are only friends; this is no big deal. When Malcolm continues to pry, Neil says he is going to help the ladies in the kitchen.
PAUL is looking at Christine's picture when Danny comes in saying that they need to talk. Chris is a decent woman; the only reason she is married to you is because Phyllis manipulated the situation. If they had known about the manipulation, they would still be married. He thinks Paul should step aside because Chris is too sweet a person to just give Paul the boot, but it is inevitable. Paul reminds him that he is her husband, but Danny says that that is a technicality---mistake that will soon be rectified. The writing is on the wall and it is only a matter of time.
Paul says that Danny has played the rock star thing too long; it is going to his head. Chris is not one of his groupies. He orders Danny out of his office, but Danny tells him he isn't going anywhere! He throws his hand up on Paul's chest. Paul grabs Danny's hand and throws it off his chest while telling him to keep his hands to himself. Danny says that they could beat each other to a pulp, but that wouldn't help them get Christine back. He says that instead of waiting for Chris to make up her mind, they should tell her to choose. Paul says he will talk to her about it; Danny says, no he will talk to her. They finally agree to go to her as one and talk to her tomorrow.
NEIL AND VICTORIA are ready to leave. They say good bye and how nice it was, etc, then they leave. Malcolm and Olivia look at each other as if to say: what do you think about that? Malcolm says he hasn't seen his brother so happy in a long time. Olivia tells him that if only he could have seen the look on his face when he saw Vicki at the door, but Malcolm tells her that he thought he was going to have to pick her jaw up off the floor. They decide that they will just have to wait and see what happens.
NEIL drives Vicki to the ranch and tells her that he had a good time. He remarks about the looks on Malcolm and Olivia's faces when they saw her. She says that she likes making an entrance. She invites him in, but he has to go back to work. They say an awkward goodbye.
SHARON comes by Legal Aid at Christine's request. Chris begins to tell her what they need, legally, for Sharon to have custody of Cassie. Sharon panics. She wants to let things lie; she doesn't want to make waves. The adoptive grandmother doesn't know who she is or where she is and she likes it that way. If they don't know who or where she is, how can they make trouble for her? She lost her daughter once; she doesn't intend to lose her again. Chris thinks that she is making a big mistake, but Sharon stands firm. She walks out on Chris who looks very worried.
It is finally tomorrow in Genoa City! At the hospital, a nurse is helping Nikki apply her make-up. She is so happy to be going home today! Victor arrives and brings her a change of clothes. He leaves to find the doctor to sign Nikki's release papers.
By the time the nurse has assisted Nikki in dressing, Victor and the doctor arrive. Victor tells her that he is ready for her to go home, but the doctor isn't. As Nikki gets upset, they smile and she knows that it is a joke. However, the doctor tells her that she isn't well yet so she has to take things easy and follow his instructions. Victor assures the doctor that he will see to it that Nikki obeys all orders. Nikki thanks the doctor for all his care; she then extends her thanks to all the nurses, orderlies and all the rest of the staff for giving her such special care.
SHARON is dressed very casually when Doris wheels herself into the room and asks her if it isn't time for her to get dressed. She says that Sharon needs to put her feelings aside and go to the ranch to welcome Nikki home. Sharon resists by bringing up all her old arguments, but Doris won't accept them. If Sharon is so afraid, so worried about creating problems in her marriage, then why is she so determined to do the one thing that is guaranteed to create more problems? She is a Newman and her place is to be with that family! Nikki needs her family around her!
NEIL is on the couch in his office conducting business when Malcolm sneaks in. He goes up behind Neil and when he hangs up the phone, Malcolm jumps out at him. Neil jumps; you scared me, he shouts. Malcolm begins to tease Neil about Victoria. Neil can't say a word without Malcolm reading something into it. Neil tries to convince his brother that that he and Vicki are just friends, but it doesn't work.
Victoria comes by with a report for Brash and Sassy before heading out to the ranch. This is just another piece of evidence that Neil and Vicki are having a passionate affair in Malcolm's eyes. Completely frustrated with his brother, Neil orders him out of the office with a laugh.
NICK is asleep at his desk. He wakes up and begins to do some work. Vicki walks into the office and tells him that he looks terrible. Go home and clean up! Vicki orders. We have a special occasion ahead of us. Nick has no idea what she is talking about so she tells him that today is the day their mother comes home from the hospital. Why wasn't I told? Nick shouts at her. Vicki assumes that Sharon would have told him, but he says that he hasn't seen or talked with his wife. He says that his Dad is putting pressure on him and Sharon to get back together to make things look normal for his mother. Vicki thinks that he and his wife can control themselves long enough for a family reunion. Nick scoffs at this. Some family reunion it will be. He isn't interested in watching his mother come home all happy when he knows that his Dad will be dumping her and going back to Diane. "You have it wrong, little brother," Vicki smiles at him. "Boy do I have news for you! It is going to be a real reunion. Things have changed. Dad wants to stay married to our mother."
THE DOORBELL interrupts Nina's work. She admits Paul to the apartment. She tells him that Chris is running some errands; he can stay if he doesn't mind watching her work. He asks what she is writing and she tells him that she is using her experiences in her writings to try to help other women. As she begins to resume typing, the doorbell rings again. She admits Danny and wonders what is going on here. "Come on in and get in line," she says when he says he is there to see Chris. Shortly thereafter, the phone rings. Chris is calling to see if she will be able to use her laptop if she comes home. "Come on home!" Nina says. She tells the boys that she is making herself scarce.
NICK AND VICKI arrive home to await their mother's homecoming. Shortly thereafter, Cole calls and talks to Vicki. He wants to know if it will be okay if he stops by to welcome Nikki home.
THE LIMOSINE pulls up outside and Vicki excitedly shouts that they are here. They stand before the door waiting. Victor assists Nikki into the house. Nick thinks that they should have had a wheelchair for her, but Nikki says she wanted to walk into her house on her own two feet. Slowly but surely, she walks over to the couch with Victor's help. He tenderly sits her down and makes her comfortable. There are hugs all around.
Nikki looks around and says that she never thought she would see this house again. "But that is all behind you now," Vicki says. You have nothing to look forward to but a bright future. Right, Dad?"
Miguel answers the phone. It is Sharon wondering if Nikki is there yet. Is Nick there? She asks Miguel not to tell them that she called, but he refuses to lie for her if anyone asks.
Cole arrives with flowers for Nikki. Cole arrives with a large bouquet for Nikki. As they sit talking, he tells her that he has thought a lot about what happened. Nikki says she doesn't know why Sara did what she did. Nick starts to say something, but stops. Vicki picks up on his thought and says that if this whole ordeal hadn't come about, the family would never have been reunited. Victor says that their mother and he would have been reunited one way or the other. He puts his arms around Nikki and kisses her.
CHRISTINE arrives home and is surprised to see Paul and Danny waiting for her. She wants to know what is going on. Danny asks Paul if he wants to tell her. Paul begins, but Danny interrupts. The two begin bickering. They continue to swap insults and accusations until Chris calls a halt. "Shut up!" she tells them. "If you two want to squabble, take it somewhere else! I have work to do."
Paul tells her that this can't go on any longer. He and Danny need---deserve---an answer. They tell her that they are prepared to wait for only one more week for her decision. "You are giving me an ultimatum?" Chris asks, incredulous. "It is decision time, Chris. You are going to have to make up your mind which of us you want to be with." The two men walk out of the apartment leaving Chris totally devastated.
NIKKI asks Cole about the horses. She says that she had a dream about them at some point during her hospital stay. She could see herself riding while at the same time, she knew that she would never ride again. It was something about the horses that helped her hang on. Vicki tells her mother that they all prayed for her---even their father.
Nikki looks around and wonders where Sharon is. Nick is uncomfortable and starts to mumble something, but Vicki says that she may not be able to make it up here this morning. Just then, Sharon enters. Vicki rushes over and gives her a hug. As Sharon walks toward Nikki, she and Nick exchange a look, which Nikki doesn't miss. However, Sharon and Nikki embrace. Sharon tells her mother in law that she is overjoyed that she is back home and well. She was afraid that her son would have to grow up without knowing his grandmother. She also thinks it was beautiful what she and Victor did. She sits beside Nikki on the couch between Nikki and her husband. She takes his hand; he smiles slightly, but doesn't withdraw his hand.
Nikki tells them that one thing she has learned from this experience is that you can't take things for granted. She feels both joy and gratitude that her life was spared; all their love and prayers played a great part in her recovery. She is happy to be home and to have her family around her. This is something she will never forget.