In the privacy of the Abbott Living Room, Phyllis recounts the fight she had with Diane. She has a hard time shaking all of the malicious things her nemesis said. A happy Jack enters with pictures from the couple's little jaunt to France. Phyllis puts on a smile, and instantly shifts from violent fem to loving wife. She enjoys the trip down recent memory lane, sharing chuckles about the romance of the getaway. The stack of photos reveals an unexpected snapshot of Diane, and in a nano-instant Phyllis' rage begins to grow and again she flashes to her fight with Diane... highlighting the moment when Phyllis's right cross connected with Diane's left cheek. Jack asks what's wrong, he can see that Phyllis is rubbing her hand- he wonders if she hurt herself. Phyllis claims she's fine and is about to come clean with the details of what happened between she and Diane, when Diane limps in sporting an ice pack on a bruised and swollen cheek.
Diane is quick to tattle about the misdeeds of Jack's wife, making an effort to over simplify her own role in the mishap, by saying that she was placing a call to Christine Williams to "get an honest outside opinion of Phyllis," when Phyllis overheard and went berserk. Phyllis counters Diane's account of events with the truth, stating that Diane was trying to provoke Phyllis with ugly accusations regarding her relationship with estranged son Daniel, taunting her by calling her an unfit mother. Phyllis tells Jack that Diane was looking for a fight, "and she's lucky I didn't do more." Jack orders Diane to leave, telling her he will come down to the pool house after he finishes talking with Phyllis. Diane isn't happy about being dismissed, but leaves at Jack's insistence.
Once Diane is gone, Jack questions why Phyllis had to slug her. Phyllis can't believe Jack is buying Diane's innocent routine, "she was looking for a fight, and she got it-Heck that bump is her new best friend." Jack advises Phyllis to ignore Diane-"turn the other cheek, find a way to make things work." Phyllis is riled, their little peace agreement is a two way street, Jack can't expect her to do all of the work. If the situation with Diane and Kyle living there is going to work out, Diane HAS to honor her end of the agreement. Otherwise Jack needs to ask Diane to move out. Jack says he can't evict Diane-"she is the mother of my child." He again implores Phyllis to find a way to ignore Diane. An indignant Phyllis tells her husband to stop talking to her as if she were some little child-she knows what's going on, it's all part of Diane's plan to get Jack-and Jack encourages it by allowing Diane to attack Phyllis as if it were "open season." Jack says that he's not allowing that to happen. Phyllis challenges him to prove it. Jack does exactly that, by heading down to the pool house to talk with Ms. Jenkins.
When Jack discusses the situation with Diane he does acknowledge that Phyllis shouldn't have hit her, but he doesn't let the architect off the hook, stating that he knows that Diane is provoking Phyllis. Diane plays the tears, claiming to be "scared" of Phyllis-literally scared for her physical safety. She tells Jack that he is married to a "crazy person" and there is no telling what Phyllis will do next. Jack lays it on the line, telling Diane that she knows exactly what she is doing when she baits his wife and she cannot possibly have Kyle's best interest at heart if she would want to continue creating this negative atmosphere. Diane is "hurt" to think that Jack would doubt her devotion to Kyle. We can see that Diane's tears do have an effect on Jack, but he stays strong to his promise to his wife telling Diane to "get with the plan and stop antagonizing Phyllis." Once Jack is gone, Diane does really cry, but it is more out of frustration than sadness.
In the meantime, a smoldering Phyllis burns the picture of Diane, wishing her out of her life-"I'd like to push you off the highest cliff and drown you in the deep blue ocean!" Just as Phyllis is getting more in touch with her violent side "alter ego-Phyllis" makes an appearance. The calmer side of the webmaster points out the fact that Diane is setting her up and she is falling for it. "Real Phyllis" knows this, but Diane just pushes her buttons and "flips her out." "alter ego Phyllis" tells her pal to get it together, she can't let Diane get the best of her. In addition, Alter-Phyllis recommends a mending of fences with Jack-- "and you've got the home-court advantage." Phyllis utilizes this advice, sweet talking an irritated Jack into going up to bed with her.
Mac and Billy discuss plans to go to Louisiana. Mac finally shares her misgivings with Billy about not wanting to go. She has been looking forward to going to college for a long time, and she's not sure if deferring is the right thing to do. Bill presses her to be with him... "if she really loved him, she'd go off with him to build houses for the poor." Mac's not sure, it seems a little phony to her-"rich kids trying to make themselves feel better about being rich." Billy says he thinks the work would make him feel good about himself, but confessed that the main reason he wants to go is to spend more time with Mac. Mac gives in saying she wants to spend more time with Billy, too... and deferring until January won't be that big of a deal. They hug on it, with Billy noting this will be the "best adventure of their life" Mac agrees verbally, but the look on her face says she's not so sure.
At Crimson Lights, Raul and Brit discuss the whole Louisiana building houses thing-Brit's got Billy's number, guessing he's the one who's really for the trip, while Mac is hesitant. Brittany correctly suspects it's just Billy's way of trying to be alone with his girl. Raul can't blame his friend if that is his real motivation, the idea appealed to him for the same reasons. Raul can't believe they only have 2 more weeks left before college starts, he proposes that he and Brittany finally get their parents together. This is not the kind of social event Brittany was looking forward to, but agrees because it seems so important to Raul. Raul tells her that she's important to him and he thinks it would be nice if they knew each other's parents. Brittany agrees to ease into it-one set of parents at a time. She says she will set something up with her parents for the following night, but only if he promises to drop his attitude about the senior Hodges' not making it to see their little princess in the school play-"I've gotten over it, you should, too." Raul agrees not to make any waves, "he'll be so witty and charming that Brit will hardly recognize him." This makes her smile, you can tell she already thinks he's pretty witty and charming.
Out at the Newman Ranch, Victor and Nikki are in the beginning rounds of "wedding talk." Victor made the necessary phone calls toward purchasing the castle they are planning to be married at, and they had a discussion regarding the guest list. Victor agrees that Nikki can invite her Jabot colleagues... more specifically Jack... if that is something she wants, and Nikki agrees to an Ashley appearance if it's what Victor wants. Victor's only real concern about inviting Ashley is in regards to her health. He is uncertain as to whether or not she'll be healthy enough to make the trip. He realizes that inviting Ashley means extending and invitation to Brad Carlton as well, and while not warm to the idea, he wouldn't dream of inviting Ashley without her husband. Tired of wedding planning, Nikki slips into some sexy nightwear, and suggests that she and Mr. Newman have a rehearsal for their wedding night, "if they want everything to be perfect they better practice." Victor takes advantage of the opportunity to improve his game, and he and Nikki melt into a scorching kiss.
Meanwhile at Casa Carlton, the tension between Ashley and Brad is up a couple of notches. Brad is preparing for a quick business trip to London and cautions Ashley about letting Victor take advantage of his absence to pay her more visits. Ashley is not at all bothered by Victor's visits and doesn't perceive them as intrusive. Brad states that it "bugs him" the way that Victor just keeps dropping in and that he would like for it to stop. Ashley stresses that she has not encouraged Victor's visits-- Brad is concerned by the fact that she doesn't discourage Victor's attention, either. Brad finds this especially upsetting given that Ash knows how he feels about Newman. Ash supplies that she is not going to tell Victor to stop coming by, because he has done nothing other than offer his support and kindness. Brad tells Ashley that she has plenty of support without Victor, to which she redirects: "I can never get enough support." It hurts Ashley that her husband would suggest that she should shut Victor out. It upsets Brad that he has to ask.
The Carltons are saved from round two by a drop-in visit from Olivia. Olivia can feel the tension in the room-she asks if she's come at a bad time, but it seems that both Brad and Ashley are relieved to have the distraction. When Ashley heads off to grab a juice for Dr. Liv, Brad confides in his friend that things are edgy between he and Ashley. Olivia encourages Brad to "Hang in there." Brad states that he will, as he is determined not to let the situation get out of control. He also admits that he's looking forward to the little break that this business trip will provide. Brad's car arrives to drive him to the airport. He and Ash share an awkward goodbye.
Once Brad is gone, Ashley asks Olivia to help her select a wig. She knows it's superficial when she thinks about all of the things that could happen to her with having cancer-like leaving her daughter motherless, but she can't stand to look at herself in the mirror and see a "plucked chicken." She admits that she's even sleeping with her scarf on to make sure Brad doesn't see her. Olivia cautions her friend against protecting Brad's feelings at the expense of their communication. Ashley notes that she is trying to avoid that. Things have been stressed between them, and Ashley senses that Brad really wants a break- "this business trip is something he could have handled over the phone." She knows her husband needs some space. She then admits that she does, too.
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The Abbott family had a special send-off breakfast for Billy. John is happy Billy is going, and they have a deal that if Billy isn't in college by spring semEsther, John will stop sending him money. Colleen observes out loud that Jill is not there to say goodbye, and John got up to call her to come over. Billy protested, saying that Jill has made it clear how she feels, so John didn't make the call. Before they said goodbye, Billy told Colleen he has no intention of apologizing for what happened between he and J.T. , and warned her to be careful. After they agreed to disagree, Billy told Colleen he loves her and they hugged each other goodbye. The entire family lines up to hug Billy, and they all wished him a tearful goodbye.
Meanwhile, Jill sulks at Jabot, and called the operator to summon Larry Warton to her office. Larry came in, expressing surprise that Jill isn't at Billy's going away breakfast. Surprised that he knows about the breakfast, she began questioning him on how he knew. Larry told her that Billy confided in him, and encourages her not to let Billy leave while they are on bad terms. Jill doesn't listen and tries to steer the conversation toward business. Larry protests, telling her that what is happening between she and Billy is what they should be discussing. Not wanting to talk about it, she tried to distract and began crying and asking Larry to hold her. Larry pushed her away, saying that what they need to be doing is to talking about Billy not concentrating on anything else.
At the Chancellor estate, Esther packed Mackenzie's bags for her in the new luggage Katherine bought her. Katherine, obviously sad to see Mackenzie leave, fussed over her. Mac talked to Katherine about Jill, and told her that she and Billy weren't on good terms. Katherine responds, telling Mac not to worry, that it is Jill's problem.
Raul and Brittany are at the coffee house, and he asked her if she's talked to her parents about meeting them. She tried to blow him off, but he wasn't about to be discouraged by her lack of enthusiasm. Ever determined, he told her he already made reservations at the Lodge that evening. He dialed her father's office number and made her ask him for dinner that evening. Much to Brittany's chagrin, he is available and accepted the invitation. It makes Raul happy, but he asked her why she didn't mention that he was joining them for dinner.
Billy came in to say goodbye to Raul and Brittany. Raul commented that it is cool that Billy gets to spend so much time with his girlfriend. Brittany coyly said that the last time she talked to Mac, she got a strange vibe from her about their trip. Raul cut her off as Billy made it clear that he wasn't interested in whatever it is she has to say about their trip. Billy hugged them both and leaves for Mac's house.
On the other side of the coffee house, Lynn and Chris bumped into each other and sat down for coffee. Chris confided in Lynn, and told her about her and Michael's recent date at the Colonnade Room and the confession about his feelings for her. Lynn looked concerned, knowing Paul and Isabella were there at the same time. Chris told Lynn she thought she may have made a fool of herself, because she found herself staring at Paul. Lynn told Chris directly that the reason she thought she was feeling that way was because she was not yet over Paul.
Lauren dropped in on Paul and started drilling him on what happened at the Colonnade Room. He is obviously annoyed that she knew Michael and Chris were going to be there and that he was the only one that didn't know. Although very defensive, he does admit to Lauren that the evening was difficult. He said he noticed Chris staring at him looking sad and wistful, and that it bothered him. Lauren questioned him more, asking why it was still bothering him several days after the fact, and went on to ask why he would care if she isn't over him yet.
At the Chancellor estate, Billy gushed to Mac about what a great time they are about to have. Looking a bit distracted, Mac asks if Jill made it over to the breakfast. After hearing what happened, she suggests they stop by Jabot to say goodbye, but Billy doesn't like the idea. Eventually, he notices her lack of enthusiasm and directly asks her what's going on. She makes up excuses, but he persists, asking her if she's having second thoughts. She didn't answer his question.
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Raul questioned why Brittany didn't tell her father on the phone that he was joining the Hodges for dinner at The Lodge. He thought she acted like something was wrong and thought it might have something to do with his Cuban background. Brittany said she'd just never mixed her home life with her social life, so her parents had not met her friends. Later, she arrived at The Lodge to find her parents, Frederick and Anita, already there and wondering why she'd set this up. Her father was planning to get back to work, and her mother had an appointment with her trainer. Brittany reminded them that she was leaving for college in a few days and thought they should have a family dinner before she went away. She nervously looked around, seemed relieved when Raul walked in, and went to greet him. Her parents looked at each other, and her mother said Brittany must be having her period.
Larry resisted Jill's efforts to seduce him and told her that she was going to listen to him. He told her about how his mother had changed her mind and come to see him before he went away to prison. It had made a difference to him because he knew then that she loved him and he was sorry for disappointing her. Jill said his situation was different from hers. In the first place, Billy knew his mother loved him. And Billy wasn't going to prison, he was going to do some good with his life in Louisiana. Larry wondered why, if Jill felt that way about Billy's decision, she wouldn't tell him she was proud of him. Jill said she was sure his decision was more about spending time with Mac than anything else. Larry told her no matter what, as Billy's mother, she should not part with him on bad terms. Jill ordered Larry to leave her office and stay out of her business.
While Billy watched Mac pack for their move to Louisiana, he kept picking up clothes that she said were staying, as they were for college and would not be appropriate for the kind of work they would be doing. Billy sensed that something was wrong and began questioning Mac's reasons for going with him. After she lost her temper with him, demanding to know if she had to feel everything he felt at the same time as him, he made her sit down and talk to him. He finally understood that the dream she'd worked toward for two years was college and she was only going to Louisiana because she wanted to be with him. He told her that he couldn't let her do that; he didn't want their time together to be a sacrifice for her. As they talked, both of them began to cry over their impending separation. Jill rushed into the Chancellor house and stopped when she saw them sitting there.
Olivia was suspicious when Ashley called and canceled their date to go wig shopping. When she questioned her, Ashley said she just had too much to do around the house. Later, Ashley was startled when Olivia showed up on her doorstep with a bag full of wigs. Olivia said if Ashley wasn't ready to face going to stores to try on wigs, she could do it at home. They talked a bit about the problems Ashley and Brad were having, and Ashley wondered if Brad had been confiding in Olivia about needing some space. She asked how many marriages affected by cancer ended in divorce. Olivia reminded Ashley that she and Brad were a couple very much in love and committed to each other, not a statistic. Ashley finally got up the nerve to remove her scarf and let Olivia see that she'd lost all of her hair.
Michael came to Christine's office and they talked about what had happened between them at the Colonnade Room. Michael wondered if he was saying too much, and Christine said she would never try to keep him from talking about his feelings, she just didn't want him to expect so much from her. They finally talked about their history together, and Michael said he wasn't the same man he'd been then. He felt like he hadn't liked himself very much, and thus his behavior had been completely inappropriate. Chris asked if he liked himself now, and he said he liked himself more than he had. Chris admitted that he made her feel good and made her laugh, and Michael speculated that he did more for her than that. He thought he made her feel like a flesh and blood woman instead of like "Saint Christine." He finally told her that he would continue to try with her, not too much, but just hard enough. When he left, she started smiling as if she couldn't help herself.
Lauren questioned why Paul was so upset about Christine's sad and wistful expression at the Colonnade Room, since he acted as if his relationship with Isabella was fine. Paul said that Chris had led him to believe she had no feelings for him, and he'd made some life-changing decisions based on that. Now he thought she might have been lying to him. He said he wanted to know if what Chris felt when she looked at him was real regret or just nostalgia. But he intended to move on with his life and focus on his family, so he wanted Lauren to stop hounding him with questions. On her way out the door, Lauren turned and asked how Michael Baldwin fit into everything Paul was telling her. She asked if Paul was willing to just sit back and let Christine find solace in Michael's arms.
Isabella arranged to meet Mary at Crimson Lights so they could plan Ricky's baptism. Isabella reminded Mary that it would make Paul very happy if his mother accepted his marriage. When Mary seemed a little dubious about the seriousness of their relationship, Isabella told her that Paul had been completely unaffected by running into Christine and Michael at the Colonnade Room. Once Mary found out who Chris had been with, she said that any woman who would make a friend of Michael Baldwin wasn't fit to be around Paul. Isabella asked if that included her, since she and Michael had once been friends. She told Mary that Michael was in the past, but Paul was her future, and the sooner Mary accepted that the better it would be for everyone.
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Billy and Jill had one last conversation before he left for the plane. Jill was surprised to hear that Mac was not going with him, then tried to beg him to stay as she had earlier. He had made up his mind and knew that it was the right thing to do. She told him that she wished she had done things differently -- he told her that she was a good mother and that he loved her. He cried and she cried as they parted for a few months.
At the airport, it was the same situation when Mac said goodbye to Billy. They vowed to always love each other and make the most of their new lives. They tried not to talk too much, they kissed and hugged and, finally, Billy was called off to board the plane. . .
Olivia helped Ashley try on wigs in the privacy of her home. Blond, brunette, redhead, long, short -- all possible combinations. Olivia suggested that she keep all of them and switch on and off. Finally, Ashley took off the long, blond wig and looked at herself in the mirror. She sadly told herself that it was really her, a sobering realization that she had to accept. . .
Drucilla and her daughter argued the merits of being in such a boring place like Genoa City when they could obviously be having more fun in Los Angeles or Paris (according to Lily). Dru had returned to town in order to get some reinforcements from Neil in dealing with Lily's teenage behavior. She couldn't reach him by phone, however.
Juice spent his last dollar on a bet that didn't pay off, so he was looking for a quick buck. He realized that Serena's buddy, Neil could be good for some dough. He caught Neil off guard at Serena's apartment, trying to force himself to say no to another drink. Juice pushed him up against the wall and demanded that he give him some money.
Raul and Brittany had dinner with her parents. It was a bit uncomfortable, as her dad assumed Raul's dad played golf, and Brittany's mom called him "Raoool." Her dad complained about his busy work schedule and was clueless about Brit's plans for college. Brittany and her mother kept bickering about trivia and her dad told Raul to have lots of sons, no daughters. Brittany was embarrassed when they left early and she wanted to move onto plans for the two of them as quickly as possible.
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Lori went to see Jack Abbott and reminisce about old times, when he used to worship her when she was two years ahead of him in high school. While they talked, Lori noticed the newspaper on his desk announcing the news of Nikki and Victor's engagement. Jack let it be known that he was less than pleased about the news. He told Lori he'd seen Nikki on the day she accepted Victor's proposal and had thought Nikki was going to turn him down. He even said he'd heard a rumor that there was another man involved. Nikki came in with a surprise announcement for Jack, but was herself surprised to find Lori there. When Jack left them alone to go to a meeting, they continued their verbal sparring, with Lori referring to Nikki as "The Stripper." Nikki admitted that there had been a time when Lori had made her feel insecure, but now, as an independent woman, she'd overcome those feelings and no longer felt intimidated by her. She then went on to say that Lori had done her a favor by leaving Victor at the altar all those years before. She said that Lori was a "former" published author who hadn't done anything worth discussing for several years, so she should just go away and leave them alone. Lori's eyes glittered with anger by the time Nikki walked out. Later, she met Max, after he'd had a run-in with Victor. Victor told him to leave town because Nikki no longer wanted to have anything to do with him. A disgruntled Max was delighted to learn that Nikki had made, as Lori called it, "a strategic error," and Lori was now interested in his plan to stop the Newman wedding.
Juice continued to push Neil around in Serena's apartment. When he broke Neil's bottle of booze, Neil went after him. Juice knocked him out and stole his cash and keys, after making note of his address. Serena found out from the owner of the Olive Tree that Juice had been asking questions about Neil and knew he was staying with Serena. She left the bar and went home, finding Neil unconscious on the floor where Juice had left him.
Olivia was thrilled to find Lily and Drucilla at Neil's apartment. After she complimented her niece on how much she'd grown, Lily went to take a shower. Drucilla admitted to her sister that Lily had become uncontrollable, including getting into trouble as part of a graffiti gang in Italy. She said she'd come back to Genoa City because she felt that Neil could straighten Lily out. Olivia finally told her what was going on with Neil, including his drinking problem because of Ryan's and Malcolm's deaths, and how he'd quit his job at Newman Enterprises. She warned Dru that Neil was not likely to be much help with Lily. When Dru reacted angrily to this, Olivia began to chastise her for blaming Neil when she was the one who'd been gallivanting with Lily all over Europe. Their argument escalated until Lily came out and tried to find out why they were fighting. Dru said they were leaving to stay in a hotel. Olivia insisted that they could stay at her place. But before a decision was made, they heard a key in the lock, as Juice began to try all of Neil's keys to get into the apartment.
Frederick and Anita Hodges stopped in for a quick drink at Gina's after their dinner with Brittany and Raul. Frederick worried that something was wrong with Brit. Anita asked if he thought she was anorexic, too. Frederick said he was more concerned about her relationship with Raul. Anita insisted that Raul was probably just someone Brittany was using to shock them, because Brittany had too good a head on her shoulders to get involved with someone like him. She insisted that they'd done the best job they could with Brittany, giving her all the comforts and material things they could. She wondered why Frederick was being so moody and contemplative about it. Finally they left so she could make it on time to her appointment with her trainer.
Brittany paid for a room at The Lodge for her and Raul, and managed to get two bottles of wine. Raul at first declined a drink, but finally let her pour him one when Brittany began to pout and be nasty to him. But he didn't really drink. He mostly listened to Brittany complain about her mother being a "bitch" and her father loving his old hunting dog better than he'd ever loved her. She mocked them for their dismay that she was dating the Cuban son of a factory worker. Raul finally got tired of watching her get "hammered" and tried to take her drink from her. As she struggled with him, the drink spilled. He left the room to get a washcloth and help her clean her dress. When he came back, Brittany was gone, along with her purse and car keys. He caught her just as she was about to drive away in her new red Thunderbird. After he begged her to not drive and to open the door, she let him get in the car. He tried to take the keys from the ignition, and she drunkenly fought him off, hitting the accelerator until there was nothing to hear or see but screeching tires and bright lights.
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