matthew ashford homepage general hospital synopsis

chapter iii: tom moves into the
brownstone to be near tommy, but also
as part of his scheme to win back simone..

It is the 4th of July, and everyone is attending the big picnic and fireworks display in the park. Tom is there with his parents; Simone and Tommy are there with Justus and his family. Tom talks with Felicia who thanks him for being one of the few people who believed her [it seems to this is about Kevin's psycho brother Ryan, also a doctor; no one believed her about her suspicions,]. That makes you one of the few," he tells her. She wonders what he means. He tells her that things have not come out as he wanted, but he likes challenges. She tells him that he sounds like her Ex, Frisco. He goes looking for Tommy as an excuse to talk with Simone. She asks him to join them, nudging Justus. Lucy hands everyone a copy of the Declaration of Independence to read aloud, Tom watches Justus with Simone and Tommy, as Justus recites his portion. During the fireworks, Mary Mae sings, "America"; Tom stands by Felicia who is holding Maxie.

The Quartermaines have agreed to help finance the Charles Street Foundation, which will help people in the community start businesses. However, unbeknownst to Justus and the Wards, AJ Quartermaine (Edward's grandson) figured out a plan to apply for a federal grant and then benefit through savings on taxes. Meanwhile, Damian Smith, son of former town bad guy, and bad girl Katherine Bell want to shopping mall in the area, which would hurt the community. The Quartermaines and Justus hold a press conference. Simone being part of the is part of the board, due to her long time work in the community is also part of the foundation and attending. Katherine Bell is attending the news conference in hopes of finding something she and Damian could use in their favor. Justus and the Quartermaines make speeches about the foundation. After the speeches, Tom walks over to "congratulate" Justus, but it is obvious Tom is there to harass of him. Justus thanks him for coming to support the project. Tom then makes a snide remark about Justus getting Simone involved. Justus reminds him that she helped out on Charles Street before knowing him. Tom says that he was involved as well. Tom continues his backhanded compliments, congratulating him for putting this together, and getting his grandfather Edward involved with all his money to back the foundation, and possibly his political career. Simone, and then Edward come over to try and distract Tom before the press gets involved. Meanwhile, Katherine Bell as been watching and listening.

Katherine, decides to use the tensions between Tom and Justus to her and Damian's advantage. She sends Tom an anonymous letter pretending to be a city employee, writing that she discovered the Quartermaines and Justus are using the project as a tax fraud; she cannot blow the whistle but hopes he will, for it is terrible when rich people use the poor to become even more wealthy. She also includes proof of her accusation. Katherine gleefully tells Damian her plan, and knows that at that moment Tom is playing into their hands. Tom immediately calls Simone and tells her about the letter, how it implies that Justus went along with the tax scam. Tom questions her about the foundation. She tells him that Edward suggested it after being invited to Mary Mae's Kwanzaa celebration. She tells him that the Quartermaines, Justus, she and reputable citizens are on the board. He wonders if Justus agreed with getting the federal grant. She tells him that AJ Quartermaine drew up the papers, but Keisha Ward helped, since she has been working as secretary. Tom tells her he better show it to Justus first, because "it may be dynamite." Tom goes to the headquarters and sees AJ, and starts questioning him about how they paid above the market price for the prosperities, and that they took a massive tax write-off and then sought a matching grant using the inflated figures: "Isn't that fraud!?" Justus storms over wanting to know what is going on. Tom then goes to see Simone. He tells her that talking to Justus first "was the right thing to do." He was impressed how Justus handled the matter. He then explained to Simone about how the Quartermaines manipulated the grant and the taxes. Tom had to admit that Justus seemed shocked about it and was furious. Tom adds that he is glad he "gave him the benefit of the doubt." She thanks him and he tells her he knows how much the foundation means to her. Tom does not know who sent the letter or why, but that person does not understand that he needs the facts before judging a person. Ned Ashton invites Tom over to talk over things. Ned thanks him for how he handled "the letter." He knows how Tom feels about Justus, and was glad he had integrity. Tom laughs, "I'm not above it." However, "his wife," and he still considers her "his wife" has put a great deal of effort into the foundation. Ned then tells Tom how they plan to set up guidelines and then to return the money in question. Tom is satisfied and will not purse the matter. Simone tells Justus Tom's decision, and praises him. Justus is still not convinced about Tom, and is sure did not pursue things to make himself look good to her.

Tom goes to the Brownstone, Bobbie lets him in; he puts on the charm, apologizing for coming over unannounced, but remembers that was how it always was there. He looks around and comments how nothing has changed, and that is good. He tells her how much he missed it there. She tells him that they missed him as well, "especially Tommy." Tommy must be glad he is back. He tells her Tommy is still distant, and that is why he came by, "Bobbie, I have a really big favor to ask of you." He talks about his dinner with Tommy and her son Lucas and he realized what a great kid Tommy is, "he is a boy, a little person" and being away made him miss the transformation. That is why he returned, and "it is not fair to both of us." Because of the situation with Simone he cannot be with them, "not yet anyway," but for now he wants to stay "close by." So he would like to have his cousin's Scott's old place; he tries to sell it as him being a live-in baby-sitter. "Kids are like a tonic to me right now," he tells her, milking the situation. She knows it would be good for Tommy, but it would be awkward for Simone. He continues to try to manipulate Bobbie by saying he could stay out of Simone's way. He thinks if it is best for the kids then the adults can figure out a way to deal with it. He continues to play on her emotions. She tells him she needs to talk with Simone first. As she hugs him, he flashes a satisfied smile.

Tom goes and visits Felicia, her grandmother Maria (pronounce Mor-eye-ah) is ad been helping her with the girls, but is leaving. Felicia introduces him to Georgia. Felicia tells him to, "enter at your own risk." Felicia introduces Maxie to Tom, who somewhat remembers him. She tells Tom she is 6, and Felicia adds, "She'll be 30 next year." Maria comes in and is glad to see Tom. Tom and Felicia talk, he tells her he is beginning to feel back home. He adds that being at the Brownstone helps. "Barely controlled chaos," she asks. "Exactly," he replies. She wonders if he had a bad time in Africa. He tells her, "I saw things in Africa I never expected to see, Felicia. They rocked me. Changed me.... Meanwhile my wife and son were a world away, changing as well." He tells her that it is one thing with Simone, he can eventually let her go; however, Tommy is different, he realized he had to be his father. It is hard to tell how much is sincerity or how much is an actor; it seems a mix of both. She is glad for Tommy he made the decision and followed through; he tells her he is too. She bends over to pick up a toy and notices Tony who had been watching them; he seems to be a little jealous of their conversation and to have some feelings for his (former) sister-in-law. Tom tells Tony that he is "feeling his way along, trying to get acclimated." He tells Tom it was nice seeing him, Tom tells him he hopes it is a habit. Tony walks off, and Tom wonders if he offended him, he wonders if he is being paranoid, [ video 16 (1:55 min; 4.2 Meg)] he has had so many "mixed reactions" concerning his return he could not "hazard a guess who his friends are." She tells him everyone "under this roof" is. He tells her that she looks different, mature. He thinks maybe that was "too stuffy. A wisdom there behind the eyes." He finds it intriguing. He offers to be another friend who helps her with her situation as single-mother. He hopes to moving in. She wonders about Simone, he thinks she cannot refuse since Tommy needs to be by his father. She tells him that she will "keep her fingers crossed," it will be nice having him around. He is pleased.

Meanwhile, Katherine took matters into her own hands and leaked the news to the press. Justus accuses Tom. Simone calls Tom, and reads him the headline, "Corruption and Scandal in the Charles Street Development Foundation." He swears it was not him, but she is not convinced. He tells her that he is not lying, and she believes him. Justus is not too happy that she is defending Tom.

Tom is moving into his office, Simone walks in and he knocks over everything on his desk. She apologizes and he tells her it is fine, he is happy to see her. She tells him she heard from Bobbie. He tells her he probably should have spoke to her first, but he had not planned on talking to Bobbie, he had found himself at the Brownstone. She says "words just flying out of his mouth." He says she is being sarcastic but that is what happened. He tells Simone that Bobbie is fine with it if she is, flashing a crooked smile. She tells him he does not make it easy. "Easy is overrated," he replies. Flashing a grin, "So what is the verdict, oh Lady-Who-Holds-my-Future-in-her-Hands?" She is in agreement but there needs to be some things set straight, she is only doing it for Tommy who has spent far too much time without him. Though she has major reservations, Tommy's needs are more important. He agrees, it was because of Tommy he returned. She is not so sure. She wants him to realize that this does not change their situation, "the marriage is over!" His cocky reply, "So you say!" She wants him to sign the divorce papers as part of the condition. Despite it all, he thinks they "might be rushing things." She does not think he is being realistic, they have not even been together in years. He tells her that he left the divorce papers in Africa. They have ways to get around that she tells him, she does not want him to "back peddle." He wonders how she is so sure, at first he thought he was right about ending things, now he knows it was wrong; it might happen to her one day. Though unlikely, she will deal with it, but for now he is welcomed at the Brownstone for Tommy, but for no other reason. He tells her, "I love you, I want you happy." She wants a divorce. He seems to agree to sign them. He tells her that "I hope having me around all the time doesn't present a problem for the new boyfriend." She walks out, and he gives a smug look.

Bobbie shows him his new apartment, "Home sweet home," he mutters. She tells him she is glad he is back; he is glad "somebody is." [ video 17A (2:20 min; 5 Meg)] Later, Tom is moving in when Tommy comes to see him. Tom nearly knocks something over but catches it first. Tommy is impressed. Tom tells his son he is "kind of a klutz." Tommy says so is he. Tom tells him "like father, like son." They unpack some of Tom's old stuff. Tom is surprised, it is "kids stuff." "I use to be one," says Tom. Inside the box are soccer cleats. Tom tells him he will teach him how to play. He then shows Tommy his old train set, which really impresses him. Tom tells him how he and Steve always put it under the Christmas tree. He tells Tommy that he will put it up and they can play with it whenever. Tommy finds a book on snakes, which he says he loves; Tom tells him that that is something else they have in common. Tom tells him  that as a kid he even had one; Tommy says he wants one but cannot have one. Tom's expression shows he has an idea. Tommy runs over to tell Simone about everything; he he is glad his father has moved in. Simone rolls her eyes. [ video 17B (1:35 min; 5 Meg)] Later, Tom has bought Tommy a snake, which he calls Mortimer. Tom wonders if that is not a little long. So Tommy says, how about "Mortimer you can call me Mort." Tom and Simone look at each other and smile. She tells him that the gift is great but Tommy cannot have a snake. Tom tells her that the snake will live with him. Tommy gives him a big hug; Tom smiles and even Simone looks a little happy. Tom brings Mortimer-You-Can-Call-Me-Mort to his place, and Simone tells Tommy they need to talk about his remarks that he is glad his father is living with them. She tells him though everyone is living at the Brownstone and close, but they live in their own places, and that is true about his father. Tommy says he understands, but it appears he does not. Tommy runs to visit his father. He asks him if he can visit when he wants. "That's the whole idea behind me moving in here, Tommy; so you I can spend plenty of time together." He tells him that he and his mother will sort the rest out. Tom invites him to come by later, but Tommy tells him he has to go on a picnic with Justus. It is obvious Tom has a plan, he tells Tommy how great picnics are: Hotdogs, baseball. Tommy tells him maybe he could come too; which is obviously what Tom was angling for. Tom tells him he was not invited. "I invite you," replies Tommy. Tom pretends that it would be wrong. Tommy says that he could teach him about soccer. Tom tells him if his mother says okay, then he "has booked his first soccer lesson." Simone convinces a reluctant Justus to let Tom come. Tommy drags Tom, Tom says that hopes his coming is not an intrusion, but "Tommy seems to have his heart set on it." Justus tries to control his anger. Simone and Justus give him a look; Tom, "Well, whatever. Just tell me what to bring. Justus and Simone just sort of roll their eyes and look at each other.

They all return from their picnic. Tommy is thrilled that he scored a goal. He wants to play with the adults. Simone says now he has three adults to choose from. Tom and Justus spar, Tom implying Justus is vying for Tommy's attention. Simone tries to ease Tom out the door. However, Tommy wants him to stay the night, he did before. Tommy then asks if he could spend the night with his father. They agree, and Tommy is thrilled and drags his father out the door. Back at Tom's, Steve calls him, to check on him. Tom tells his father about Tommy spending night and his "new pet." Steve is glad that things are improving between Tom and Tommy, and is proud that he is acting like a father. Tom tells him "it means alot," but then adds, "despite your board vote," Later, Tom has put Tommy to bed on the couch. Tommy wants a bedtime story, "about Africa, the animals and the children." Tom looks concerned, and tries to tell him another story, but Tommy asks again. Holding his son and caresses his hair, he describes the geography of Rwanda. Tommy wonders if he liked it there. [ video 18 (2:35 min; 5.7 Meg)] Tom tells him he was working, "it was my job. People were depending on me, it was important that I helped them." Sadly he continues, "The problem was some people didn't know how to get along." People were "mean to each other" fighting over who was in charge. The strong took advantage of the weak. "Couldn't you stop them?" He tells Tommy he tried, but then gave in "with the whole process." Then I was making the choices, obviously he is talking out loud, and not necessarily to Tommy. His voice cracking, "People always want to do what's best for them. And ah,.... when you make choices and you realize that because of your choice other...." having trouble continuing, emotionally, "....people...." Tommy notices his father is crying. He tells his father that his mother says big boys can cry too. "It helps if you rub your eyes, real hard like this," demonstrating for him. Tom gives a half-hearted attempt, "You're right." Tom tells him he will be okay. He continues to hold him tightly, holding back the tears; then kisses his forehead.

Then next morning Tom has made them a large pile of waffles at Tommy and Simone's. Tommy wants his snake; Tom thinks his mother would not be happy. Tommy reminded him, she was not there. Tom tells him that they can go buy some food for Mortimer later. He says if Tommy were a snake and ate as much as he was eating, he would be slithering around with a large "lump in his stomach." They joke around. Hearing Simone, they hide and jump out at her. Tom holding Tommy, asks "Welcome home, have a nice night?" Tom readies for camp, and Simone tells Tom, "This makes me very uncomfortable." Tom flashing a look, holds out a piece of waffle, and wonders if she wants some. She is not amused. She realizes it is going to take time, but she does not like him there in her place, waiting for her. He says that it is only because Tommy came looking for her and she was not there. She is horrified, wondering what he told him. "I didn't tell him you were spending the night with your boyfriend!" She tells him it feels catastrophic. He tells her that this was just following the plan, for him to be there for his son, and being back-up sitter, "so what's wrong with this picture?"

Felicia and Tony  and Tom joins them. Tony asks how things are going. Tom thanks him for making it possible to be near Tommy. Felicia thinks Tommy should be glad too; it is nice to have a father around. Tony laughs, considering her situation with Frisco. Tom tells them about their evening, and Tommy's new pet. Felicia does not sound thrilled, and Tony kids her for being "a typical woman." Felicia says she is from Texas, and is use to them. Tony is not so sure, "you hate the slimy things." Tom replies, "That's a misconception, they're not slimy at all." Tom wants to take Tommy to the reptile house, and wonders if she and Maxie would join them. She does not sound enthused. Tony wonders how "Simone feels about this serpentine addition to the family?"; he cannot see her and snakes. Felicia thinks that is sexist. Tom would like her to come to the zoo too, for Tommy. "The big problem is, as far as Simone is concerned, Mort's not the only snake in the family." Felicia is sure she will "come around." Tom asks Tony to come with Lucas. "Say yes, protect me from the big snakey," she jokes. Tony says he has stuff to do at the hospital. She teases him. Tom has to go to the hospital too. He intertwines his arm with Tony's, and they skip off together.

A couple of days later is Port Charles' walk-a-thon for AIDS. Stone Cates, a local young person was just diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. His girlfriend is Mac Scorpio's niece, and he is her guardian is waiting to see if she is HIV positive. Tom jogs up to Simone, asking her to join him. She tells him she is waiting for Justus, and Tommy is doing the kid's walk. She brings up Mortimer-You-Can-Call-Me-Mort, how Tommy is becoming a little too obsessed with him. He tells her, "It's your own phobia manifesting itself, try not to pass it along to our son! He has plenty of time to develop neuroses of his own." She tells him all he paints, makes, thinks about is snakes. He thinks it is just an "artistic bent. Degas had his ballerinas, Tom Hardy, Jr. has his snakes. If we let him develop his artistic talents, he can take care of all of us in are declining years." She wonders, "don't you take anything seriously" now. He tells her, "not much." So, "how long do we have to wait for the late Justus Ward," he asks. She does not think that is funny. She says Justus said to start without him. He tells her they can start, and take it slowly. She takes off quickly, she wants to get him tired to shut him up. Tom smirks, raises his eyebrow, and follows her. A little later, Justus catches up with them. He apologizes for being late. "No problem," Tom replies. He wonders what he missed, she mentions a discussion about snakes, "the kind that craw," she snarks at Tom. Tom cannot understand, she a doctor, scared of snakes. She says, "I should be used to cold blooded creatures by now." Tom asks Justus his feelings about snakes. However, Justus does not play into his hand, and says he is not afraid and in fact was thinking about her, Tommy and him going camping. He goes on to say that they are bigger and better in the wild, and nearby there is a big population of them. Simone does not look thrilled. Not wanting to give Tom any ammunition, she accepts. Tom continues to ask questions to make him look bad. Justus says that Simone can share his sleeping bag. Tom is not a happy camper. Justus walks off, and Tom tells her, "I'd love to be a fly on the tent for this little outing."

Justus, Simone and Tommy go camping, and it is a disaster: The old Ward family tent collapses and there is a big thunder storm. They are forced to give up and run home, soaking wet. Tom hears them talking in the living room, and comes down to investigate; he asks if they found any snakes. Simone tells them no, but there were bugs, and possibly a bear. Tommy tells them how his mother made them go home. They talk about what happened, and Tom obviously is trying to hide his amusement. Tom sarcastically tells them, "Better luck next time." Tommy tells them Simone said there would not be any. Tom promises his son that he will take him, "I had alot of experience in Africa and I know how to do it up right!" Tommy shrieks with joy, hugging him. "I guess that's a yes," Tom replies, pleased with his victory. She takes Tommy to bed, leaving Justus and Tom alone. "Tom with a smug expression, "Goodnight, Justus!" Justus glares at him, and is about to say something, but stops himself, and walks off. Tom looks pleased.

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