matthew ashford homepage general hospital synopsis

chapter vi: despite what he originally said, tom fights
the divorce; tom and felicia join forces to create an
aussie sunrise; tom shows felicia their pumpkin friends.

At the Outback, Felicia is in a funk. She tells Tony and Mac that she loves being a mother, loves her girls, but sometimes she feels like she is missing something, and then she feels guilty. Just then, as if on cue, Tom walks in. He wonders if he is interrupting a private conservation. She tells him, "just a philosophical one." "Sorry," he replies, "I don't get philosophical before noon." Tony asks him if he might have some story to cheer her up. Smiling, "As a matter of fact, I do." Tom then tells them, imitating Tommy's description of Simone, Tommy and Justus' camping trip:  Tommy loved it, but it was different for the adults, Justus' ego was bruised, Simone was glad of an excuse to come home; Tom wistfully says, "Nature girl she's not.... and never was." Felicia smiles. Tony changes the subject and asks Tom a personal question, wondering if he wanted Simone back. "That was direct," Tom says. Tony tells him he has a personal reason for asking; he wonders if his heart is still "set on getting your wife back?" Tom says it definitely. Tony then tells him that from a personal experience, after a year misery, that he and Bobbie are making progress [The previous year, whi;e their daughter Barbara Jean was dying (her heart was transplanted into Maxie, who needed a transplant) after the school bus accident, Bobbie was having sex with Damian Smith, resulting in their marital problems]. Tony advices Tom to hang on, because if he really means it, it could happen to them too. Leaving, Tom tells Felicia to "keep smiling."

At the hospital, Tom is engrossed in an article, and literally bumps into Felicia, who is there to visit Stone Cates who has had a major set back. She wonders what is so interesting, she looks at the article, and groans, "Tell me you have a comic book in here!" He tells her that "it is actually fascinating." With a serious expression, "Do you know who Persephone is?" She asks if it is the sexy night nurse. He says that's Stephanie. "How about Eurydice?" She frowns, "Is this a shrink thing?" "A Greek thing," the classical myths, he tells her; he is reading on "The mother daughter rebirth phenomenon" and he keeps getting the two confused. She tells him she "cannot keep Maxie and Georgie straight." He tells her it was "nice running it to you." She tells him likewise, next time she will wear knee pads. "Are you here, seeing anyone?" "As a matter of fact, I am," she walks off. Tom watches, and seems disappointed by the brush-off.

Later, Felicia is walking down the hallway, looking very sad, apparently things are not going well for Stone. Tom is on the phone -- it seems was waiting for her. He stops her and tells her "I figured it out.... the Greek thing.... mythology." Sh Preoccupied she walks on; he follows her, talking, both of them "had trouble in the Underworld." He explains the Eurydice myth, how she died and her husband Orpheus went into the Underworld and almost rescued her, but lost her at the last second. He then tells her about Persephone: She was the goddess of fertility, Demeter's daughter; Hades loved her and abducted her to the Underworld; while Demeter searched for her, the earth was barren; eventually she found Persephone, but Hades refused to let her, go because she had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and thus was his; however, since she loved her mother and Hades loved her, he let her return to her mother for six months of the year, during those months everything grows and it is summer. She smiles, "That's beautiful." He tells her that they are called the Eleusinian mysteries. She wonders how he became interested. He tells her he was reading an article on the "mother/daughter dynamic.... how it relates to the transition from adolescence to adulthood," and it had allusions to mythology so he read up on it; he adds that Greeks told great stories, and wrote great dramas, and "it is not surprising that they were the first to explore the fundamentals of the human experience. You know, why am I here; why is this happening to me." "Do you ever wonder why we don't have much control?", she asks sadly. She goes on, with her daughters she  preserves  this idea that she has control." She finishing her work and chores "it seems the world is spinning perfectly on its axis." [ video 19 (2 min; 4.6 Meg)] However, when something horrible happens, "I realize I don't have any control.... and I never did." Tom listens on intently, she continues "And you know what the worst part of that is.... the world continues to spin.... undaunted,and unchanged because of tragedy, and that's a part of life I have such trouble accepting." Tom remains silent, and emotionally affected, then sighs. She wonders if she is being foolish, wishing "the world wasn't so cold." He tells her it is not, what he saw in Rwanda "tells me that terrible things happen to people who don't deserve them. And the world does go on. Despite their suffering, " he adds, maybe more wishful thinking than certainly, "it has to." "Why," Felicia asks, appearing not so sure. He tells her, " I don't know.... I like to think that the world exists to sustain life. And....," emotionally, "what is life without love? Without love we're nothing!" She likes that. She adds, then you just ignore the "control thing" and "love the people in your life as long as you have them?" Tom thinks that is a good way to live, "The problem is some of us have a little trouble giving up that control thing." Talking about her situation with Frisco, she adds that some people are so busy they do not let you love them. Talking about his situation with Simone, "And some don't want to be loved." Thinking pensively, he adds that it is all quite sad. She sadly agrees, and walks off; he watches, equally sad.

Tom and Simone meet at Luke's for dinner. He continues to refuse the divorce.

Another day, Justus comes to visit Simone at the hospital, he tells her they have to get tough with Tom. She tells him "Tom is unable or unwilling to be reasonable." He tells he he wrote up the papers, she will charge him with abandonment, he also is suing for her to have sole control of Tommy, that way Tom cannot use him. He could also demand Tom be removed from the Brownstone, due to physical intimidation; plus retroactive child support. She thinks it is a little extreme; Tom might change his mind. Unless she does not want a divorce, his suggestions is the only way for Tom to get the message. Justus goes to Tom's office. [ video 20 (1:30 min; 3.2 Meg)] He tells Tom it will be "short and sweet," due to his behavior, Simone has taken further actions against him. "And she sent you to do the dirty deed!" "The good doctor is charging you with abandonment." Tom becomes flippant, "`The good doctor', your lover, my wife, this could get very sticky, Councilor!" There also will be "sole custody of the minor male." "Tommy," Tom says, again sarcastically. "We call him, Tommy, Tom, Jr. after his father! Couldn't this be construed undo influence by a live-in lawyer?" Pretending to try to remember the phrase, "What is it you sleaze-bag ambulance chasers call it.... conflict of interest!" Justus reminds him that he can get his own lawyer. Tom asks how much he charges, then corrects himself, "That's right your sleeping with her!.... No charge." He tells Tom he will also have to leave the Brownstone. Giving him the Nazi salute, "Sieg Heil, Councilman! I can hear those jackboots coming down the hall for me now." Justus is not impressed with his snarky remarks, but tells him he has no solutions. Tom tells him neither does he, he is just being excessive. "My comedic friend, it's just the beginning!" Tom says he needs to examine his latent hostilities. For now, he tells Tom, he is just helping Simone get her divorce. Tom is not scared. What he did and saw was real, as are his feelings for Simone and Tommy; the papers are all meaningless. He tells Tom those papers are going to free, and that will give him pleasure. After he leaves, Tom does not look so sure about himself.

Tom runs into Simone in the hallway, he tells her how her friend has "so many big words with so many syllables." She tells him that he left her no choice. Tom tells her they have so many choices, and continues to be flippant. She wants him to be reasonable. Smirking, "Maybe I forgot how," and so has she. She tells him he continues to refuse the divorce, and thinks even he thinks it is right. He says, "That is subjective" for he does not. She cannot understand what he will gain. "You! Us!" She begs him to sign. He cannot believe she let Justus get his revenge through her. She is insulted. He cannot believe she used "our son as a pawn!" She accuses him of doing that, and it needs to stop. In a deadly tone, "Emotional violence, outright manipulation!"; it is ineffectual, "I will not be kept from my son!"

Felicia is manning the Brownstone lemonade stand. Tom returns home, but does not see her, she calls him over, telling 25 cents, for his son's college fund. Tom wonders if it dates him to remember it being 10 cents. Seeing he is woebegone she gives him one free. After he drinks it, "Thanks I needed that!" They gaze at each other. A moment later he tells her this is the best thing all day. [ video 21 (5 sec; 270K)] He is aghast when he learns it is not homemade, imitating W. C Fields, "A mix! Sacrilege! In my day a mix and a gallon of water was all we needed." He pays her anyway, and for that she gives him a refill. "It definitely has been a two drink day!" He tells her, "Simone's lawyer `slash' boyfriend showed up and declared open season on me," with papers to separate him from Tommy unless he agreed to the divorce. She does not think that sounds like Simone. It is not he tells her. She wonders how someone divorces a family. He does not, and does not want to know, "Am I a selfish pig?" She tells him he has a right to fight it, but Simone has a right to ask for it. She tells him it sucks for both. He tells her, "I survived worse, lemonade helps. She thinks it cannot be too hard, he only had to spend the day in an air-conditioned office with "a bunch of neurotic adults." He is the first person over 3 1/2 feet she has spoken to. He then tries to drum up business, "DELICIOUS, MOUTH PUCKERING, CHEMICALLY ENHANCED, LEMONADE!" Tom gets an idea, taking the pitcher, he runs inside to "adulterated" it. As she sits on the steps waiting for him, Simone comes home. She then tells her, "Things are not good between Tom and me." She tells Simone, "I heard a little about it." From whom, Simone asks. Just then Tom pops up, "Vodka Collin's anyone?" He smiles at her and she shakes her head. He tells her it will bring out a good sweat, but it costs 25 cents. It is their son's turf, tonight they can call a truce, let the lawyers fight it out. He tells her if she can, he can, he waves the pitcher. "A potent brew," she tells him. He says it reminds him of college, and thinking about it maybe they should not send Tommy. Simone makes a toast, "Only the hardy survive!" He cannot believe she made a pun, she hates them. Tony joins them carrying balloons and a birthday gift bag for his son Lucas. They get him to buy a drink. As Lucas and Tony talk about his birthday dinner Tom longingly gazes at Simone. A little later the gang are still drinking and all in a good mood. This is heaven for Felicia, talking to "three adults." Tom says he feels mature. Tony comments on the sticky steps, and Tom goes to get the hose. Holding the hose, "You know, there are places in the world where water is like gold. Where people fight and die for water." He has a sadistic expression, and aims the hose at them. Tony uses Simone as a shield. He then looks at Felicia and sprays her, "Dance, Little Sister, dance!" She enjoys it, and twirls around, letting him drench her. Simone laughs, but Tony seems not so amused. She tells him it was refreshing. "All in the name of conservation. "Lend on, MacDuff," he picks up the stuff from the lemonade stand and follows her to her apartment. After they leave, Simone sits with a pensive expression.

Insider, Felicia thinks they should do this again. "What swell vodka or have a water fight?" He tells her that Simone and Tony did not seem to approve. He sits on her couch as she dries herself. She tells him she was glad to see him and Simone being civil together. "Keep 'em off guard, that's my motto." Brushing her hair, " must look fetching." Tom watches her with interest, and maybe even something more. He feels a little uncomfortable and looks away. She seems to be enjoying herself, and then also becomes aware, and looks away. Gazing at each other, she wonders what is wrong. Nothing to his knowledge. Just then, Simone walks in with the money. Tom looks a little awkward. Simone asks him to join her and Tommy for dinner. To Felicia, "I'll see you at the next wet T-shirt contest." She giggles, "I'll get you back!" Walking out the door with Simone, he says, "Fair's fair." Felicia looks a bit confused.

Another day, Simone joins Alan Quartermaine, Bobbie, and nurse Amy Vining (Laura Spencer's sister) he is looking for his wife Monica [she has breast cancer and snuck away to a cancer retreat center and did not tell anyone], Tom shows up angry, holding a file, he wants to meet her for lunch. When she refuses he tells her they could always hash it out in front of everyone. Amy wonders what it is about. He tells them the divorce papers he was just served. Amy backs off, Simone tells him there is nothing to discuss. Fuming he tells her she is wrong. A little later Felicia seats them at a table. Lucy has been eating there with a Madame Maia, who claims to be a psychic [what she does not know is that Damian Smith and Katherine Bell, after their attempts to use Tom failed, hired her to get into Lucy's good grace's and feed her false information to manipulate her]. She gets up and sees Tom, who continues to fluster her. She tells him she still is shocked seeing him pop-up all the time. She asks Simone how long it took her to get use to it. In a cold voice, aimed at Tom, she says, "I don't believe I have!" Noticing the chill in the air, Lucy walks off. He tells Simone, "I got your message loud and clear. I still can't believe you're doing this," using Tommy to get the divorce. She does not care for his tone. He his blown away that she allowed Justus to do it. He backed her into a corner, she tells him, and forced her into the decision. This was the last resort to get him to keep his promise. "Which promise `'Till death do us part?", he asks. That happened when he took off in February she reminds him, "Your decision!" She agreed to him living in the Brownstone if he signed the papers, and he knows that. He thinks "The whole set-up is inherently unfair!" He admits to serious mistakes, but he has also done stuff to make amends, and she has not given him credit. "Too little; too late!" Wild eyed and frantic, he accuses her pride getting into the way "of ruining our marriage!" She is flabbergasted at his gall, he is the one with the ego. "Read my lips, Tom, I want a divorce! He continues to try and change her mind. But she is adamant. "Why does this seem rash to me?" "Because you came in on the end-game! You were gone" when she was doubting things. He needs to get with the real world and stop accusing her, "it is insulting!" He tells her to go for it all, and the child support, "But that's like getting blood from the stone," all the millions he made in Africa. She tells him he can make it easy, all he has to do is sign the original papers. He says that would be wrong. She says then she will do whatever it takes. He threatens her, then she will have to tell their son, "I am not going to make it easy for you!" He knows Tommy will not be grateful, "Not now! Not later! Not ever!" If she does not believe him, "you have a serious case of denial!" He storms off; she sighs in frustration!"

Simone tells Justus about Tom's defiance, who then calls Tom for a meeting at The Outback. Felicia jokes as she seats Tom, to describe his date so she can seat her. He chuckles, he is meeting Justus, "I'll try to keep it down to a dull roar." She wonders if he wants to order or wait. "I think I'll need fortification." [Felicia asks Mac what Kevin is up to and if he is Mac's client. He is mum. In fact, Kevin is suspicious of Madame Maia and has hired Mac]. Justus arrives and walks over to Tom. Felicia tells Mac to "Get out the bandages!" Mac tells her it will be, "One of those nights." She says things work out better if she helps. Justus wonders how to proceed. Tom, "You tell me!" Justus tells him they know what Simone wants. Tom retorts that he knows what Justus wants. Justus tells him to leave him out of it. Well, "here you are!" Justus say he is there as her lawyer and should be talking to Tom's lawyer. "But it is just a pleasure to deal with you myself!" "I know your type, Tom.... Your mother dotted on you." As an only child, "You learned to manipulate women at an early age. That sly smile. Soulful look. Calculated sincerity." [ video 22A (1:10 min; 2.7 Meg)] Justus tells him he is not fooled, all he wants to know is when he will sign the papers. Tom tells him, "I don't respond well to intimidations and threats!" Justus says he probably was not spanked as a kid. Tom tells him no one better spank Tommy. He scuffs at how Tom diverts the subject. "As far as I am concerned, Tommy is the topic at hand!" He returned to be a father, and he is aware of his parental rights. He warns him not to curtail those rights and expect him to play along. Right on cue that "calculated sincerity!" He tells Tom had he not been using Tommy to manipulate Simone, he might believe him. Tom wonders if he studied Johnny Cochran [O.J.'s lawyer, the trial was taking place about this time], "If you don't have an answer, go on the offensive." He thinks this a game for Tom. Tom, "Try me!" He tells Tom not to worry he is determined to enforce the papers against him: Remove him from the Brownstone, give Simone permanent custody of Tommy, and  limit his visitation. "Big, tough lawyer!" He tells him this is just not a legal move, he thinks it is what is best for the boy, because there will come a time when Tommy will realize this attention was just fake and he was being used, and he will resent him for it. Tom tells him it he who is running the number on him. This will make Tommy miserable, and if he is miserable Simone will be miserable. [ video 22B (1 min; 2.2 Meg)] Tom warns him to be careful, because if that happens it will be him whom Simone will blame. Justus accuses him of being "a major control freak." He threatens Tom with jail for compliance if he continues in this manner. Then Justus gets nasty, "This is not some refugée camp in Africa where sick and desperate people are vulnerable to your type of manipulation, Dr. Hardy!" Slowly Tom's cocky, assuredness dissolves. Justus' remarks are emotionally affecting him. Apparently, Justus notices the change in his expression. "That's it! That's why you stayed over there so long! You finally found a place where you could *weld your petty little powers" and "gratify your overblown ego!" Then he hits Tom with the final blow, he asks if he likes lording over everyone or "just people whose skin is darker than yours?!" Tom is horrified, he cannot control it any longer and snaps, pushing aside the table, and knocking over everything. Before anything more can happen Mac jumps in between them. Tom has a wild look in his eyes, "You shouldn't have said that!" Justus tells him they will not be meeting again, and to make arrangements with Lee Baldwin, Tom's uncle who is his lawyer. Justus apologizes to Mac, throws out his arms smugly at Tom, and walks away. Felicia walks over.  [ video 22C (1 min; 2.3 Meg)] Tom, muttering and still upset, tells them he realizes that Justus was trying to irk him, "I saw the trap coming and fell for it anyway." Felicia offers him a drink, Tom asks for an iced tea. He apologizes for his "juvenile display of temper. Trying to control his anger, "I really dislike Justus Ward!" She leads him to the bar, and tells him she thinks that it is understandable. [ video 22D (1:10 min; 2.9 Meg)] He asks if he is wrong, he just wants to keep his life in tact, and wants to hold out so he can give his marriage a fighting chance, and maybe Simone will change her mind. He tells her she probably does not want to hear all this. Earnestly, "I do!"; she obviously has come to care for him as a friend.

Justus calls Simone and tells her he bluffed hard about all the threats, and that he then pushed some of his own buttons, and that set Tom off; however, he did not tell her all he said to Tom. Back at The Outback, he tells Felicia, "My wife, and my child are my field of gravity.... What kept me in the here-and-now." He continues that Simone is wrong, he did not leave her in Africa, they both were with him all the time, maybe even more than had he remained home. "They weren't just pictures on a wall, they were real," always with him. Felicia continues to listen intently, and feeling for him. "They brought me home." Despite Justus' accusations of manipulation, Tom seems sincere and really troubled as he talks to her. "Did you ever, ah, wake up from a dream and that eerie feeling that the dream is more real than reality?" She slightly nods. "And you lie there slipping back-and-forth between the two worlds?" He pauses for awhile, he seems in a very dangerous emotional place. "What if you could just go to sleep, and dream forever!" Felicia is concerned for him. He stares at her, and seems to realize he said too much. He tells her she better get back to work, and he has to leave. She tries to stop him. He puts out a hand, "Not to worry! Goodnight!, and then walks off. She is even more concerned.

The next morning Simone is at the hospital with Tommy, she tells Bobbie he has to stay at the hospital child care because all her babysitting options were unavailable, and Tom was not home, nor did he answer his calls. Bobbie says he has not been at the hospital either, and wonders where he is. Meanwhile, at The Outback, Felicia is setting up for the day, when Tom comes in, his shirt is untucked and unbuttoned, and he looks as if he had not showered or slept. He realizes she is not open, but wonders if she has "a cup of coffee for a weary traveler." She tells him, no problem and seats him at the bar. He tells her that it is nice to sit. She tells him she tried to get in touch with him; he says that he did not go home. She knows he was upset. He rolls his eyes, at the understatement. He tells her he had to get out last night, he had to think things through and put a distance between him and Justus. He looks at her. She admits that she was glad that Mac got between them; he chuckles. He tells her one day no one will be around, and he cannot wait. He says that Justus is arrogant, egotistical.... and she adds involved with "your wife." He tells her he is not just being jealous. [ video 23A (2 min; 4.6 Meg)] "Everything I thought was rock solid is sliding out from underneath." He keeps getting attacked when he just wants solace. He tells her there is "just so much mistrust and doubt" he could take, and he reached that point, and that is why he left, for he feared he really would turn violent. He tells her he did not want to run into Simone so he did not return home, he wanted to prevent himself for saying something to her in front of Tommy, and he does not need to see them fighting. His parents were not a solution, his mother is upset over the break-up and his father blames him. She says she can understand. "You're in the minority!" She wonders where he went. "I went for a walk"; he wanted to be alone and could not trust himself to talk to anyone, "except himself. Hell, I am a shrink! Sooo, I went for a walk with my shrink. I walked and talked; talked and walked; the next thing I knew, the sun was rising." "That's some aerobic program, did it help?" It helped "clarify a few things. And it...." trying to fight back his emotions "it helped me boil down the whole mess into one basic fundamental choice." [ video 23B (1:25 min; 3.2 Meg)] He tells her that Simone wants a divorce, him out of the place, custody of Tommy, child support, he either gives up what he has fought for or allows them to drag Tommy into the fight. That is "the one thing I swore I would not do to my son!" She agrees it is tough, Tommy is in the middle "by virtue of the situation." And he says, that things will get worse unless someone gives in. She tells him it is a shame he could just not erase what happened and continue on from that point. "If only I could!" She is surprised Simone is not trying to make it less painful. He blames Justus, and accuses him of convincing her that he abandoned her. She thinks Simone can see both sides. He disagrees, by the time he returned Simone saw him as the villain. He asks if he could make a call and then have a meeting there.

[ video 24 (2:15 min; 5 Meg)] Some time later, Tom is sitting pensively at the bar, Simone and Justus enter. He hears them but does not turn around. They both hesitate, and then walk to the bar. They stop behind him, she calls to him, but still he does not turn; surprised, "You showed up!" She says "you're incommunicado all morning," then calls her and tells her it is urgent they met him, "of course we showed up!" Tom appears to try to gather courage and tell them what he wants. Justus asks him what he wants. Tom finally turns to them. He tells them, "I did alot of thinking in the last twelve hours--" She wonders what about. Justus, annoyed, wants Tom to get on with it, "I presume that this thinking has something to do with the situation between you and Simone?" "Very  swift, Councilor!.... About me, my wife and our son!" Simone stares at him. He continues, "About what's best for everyone, especially the innocent party involved." He tells them their son's interests are primary, and "therefore I quit!" He tells her, she wins, he surrenders, he agrees to all the terms. Simone is stunned to silence, and does not seem happy to she him so defeated. Even Justus is silent"Shall I say it another way?" She shakes her head, and all she replies is, "no." Before she can ask, he tells them his son's needs are primary, "that's all; that's enough!" Then he adds, "for me, anyway!" With that he walks off. A little later, the two talk to Felicia about Tom's decision. Felicia is glad for them. She then asks about Tom at the Brownstone; she does not think it is smart to further separate Tommy from his father, from personal experience she knows. She adds that she just might be "envious of the situation." Justus is surprised. She explains that Frisco goes and comes, she can understand, but Maxie cannot, no matter how much they explain it to her. In her situation, despite what was happening between her and Frisco, she would want him there for their daughters. Later, Simone tells him she believes in Tom's sincerity, and thinks Felicia is right, it would be better if Tom remained. She also thinks that they could work on some of the other demands; they got what they wanted, the divorce, and easing up is only just. He does not seem to agree, but does not contradict her.

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