matthew ashford homepage general hospital synopsis

chapter viii: tom tries to do damage control and garner
sympathy after what he did in philly; thanksgiving 1995.

Everyone is back from Philadelphia. At the hospital, Justus and Simone are talking. She tries to explain to him that Tom, Steve and Tommy always celebrate their birthdays together, and this year Tommy wants to continue the tradition. Justus believes that this is Tom's doing and wants Simone not to give in to "Tom's juvenile behavior." Simone tells him that it is not up to her, Tommy wants this. As they are discussing this, Tom shows up in the background. Hearing the conversation, and probably to yet again cause some conflict, he walks over to them."Sorry, Councilman, the ties that bind the Hardy clan are very tough to break!" Justus tells him he knows about "family ties," but he also knows "about people who exploit them for their own gain!" He wants to make it clear to Tom, to which Tom replies, smugly, "I'm listening." He tells Tom that "Simone is no longer your family! She's out of bounds!" Tom says nothing, but glares at him. Simone stands behind Justus, silent. Justus kisses her and leaves. As he leaves, he gives Tom a stare. Tom tells her, "Territorial, isn't he." Simone tells Tom that Justus is not normally like that but that  "you bring out the worst in people." Tom smiles, "But not you." She has to disagrees he does it to her as well. He wanted to suggest "no hard feelings." She tells him it is too late for that. She brings up what he did in Philadelphia, she is not remotely amused by it. Flashing a look trying to be charming, "You're unrelenting." She is not buying into it, she says that she feels trapped, she wants to celebrate Tommy's birthday as they always have, however to do so she has to celebrate his as well. After missing so many, she should be glad they have the chance to be together, he tells her. He adds that the calls meant so much to him, and he made sure to call, and he knew where they would be. She accuses him of being territorial now. The fact it is a disappointment this year "is no one's fault but your own!" He holds back his emotions and tells her that he appreciates her sacrifice for going, and knows she will help calm his father. He needs someone due to the  tense situation brought on by their fight over Dorman. She tells him, "I don't relish being a human shield for anyone!" She wants to know if he and his father are going to argue because she wants to avoid such things for Tommy. "There won't be in trouble, as long as I have something to say about it," he tells her and then walks off.

Tom is at his parents, and tells them he has learned he cannot control himself around alcohol, as he surreptitiously rubs his chin. He adds Simone to something over which he loses control. No one says anything, but Steve looks at him, not pleased. Tom, realizing he is not going to get any sympathy, tells them he regrets what he did and they will never see any thing like that ever again. Audrey, believing her son, looks over towards Steve, as if hoping he will accept what Tom is saying. Steve, "It was embarrassing, Tom." Tom continues to play contrite, saying it was for everyone, and that he embarrassed the family in front of the everyone, including the Quartermaines, "And I am very, very sorry," his voice catching for affect. Audrey, lovingly, tells him she knows he is. Steve tells him he accepts his apology. Tom tells Steve he does not want "to ruin tonight with any residual resentment." Tom thinks if they are "clearing the air" he wants to bring up Dorman. Audrey worries that it is the wrong time. Steve thinks that if they can clear other matters why not this being the right time for that too. Tom is fine. Steve wants him to rethink things, "I want to give that young man a chance." Tom gives a little laugh, since he was going to ask to Steve to rethink things, "and throw him out on his ear." Continuing, "`That young man' is a licensed medical professional, Dad. But with that mind-set he should be a licensed Wall Street broker. Not a doctor." Steve wonders what he means.[ video 35 (1:15 min; 3 Meg)] Tom tells him that "medicine should not be a pragmatic bottom line business." Tom goes on that Pierce Dorman would think what he did in Africa "as a waste of time and resources," getting passionate,  "He'd spit out a cost analysis and question the ratio of tangible good that a small group of doctors could produce when put up against the insurmountable suffering that we faced!" Steve wonders if "is it fair to put words in his mouth?" Tom laughs sarcastically, he knows the type of person he is, he worked with people like him. Pacing the room, "I despise them!" Becoming angry, he tells his parents people him Dorman were upset that he actually accomplished something in Africa, which he thinks is better than just not doing anything. He does not "appreciate a small minded bigot being associated" with such a great hospital as General Hospital. Steve thinks they should table it until later. He wants to hear, at a later date, what Tom "and his cohorts" think. Also, he wants to let them know why he feels as he does, and his beliefs to be respected too. Tom trying to hold back his anger, "This should be interesting!" While they are staring at each other, Audrey looks back and forth between her son and her husband, concerned at the amount of anger there exists between them.

Later Tom has arrived and Tom is giving his son his gift,  "I do hope you enjoy it." Simone watches on. It is a book about snakes, Tommy is excited and wonders if there is a picture of Mortimer, You-Can-Call-Me-Mort. Tom points to "Page 17." Tom tells his son, "He's even smiling." Tommy turns to him, not believing him. Tom bets him. And then, Tommy shows the photo to his grandparents. Tom comments on how much fun everyone is having, then snarks by saying only "Councilman Ward" is missing. Simone does not bite, and returns the snark by saying the only thing missing that with him not there he can not bait Justus.

Later, Lucy and Kevin are at the Outback, arguing   (probably about Damian Smith). Lucy is apparently still upset about Kevin and Tom sneaking around in drag. She wants to leave but at that moment Tom walks. Obviously she wants to hear what he has to tell Felicia about what happened in Philly, so she changes her mind, and as an excuse to stay she agrees to talk things through with Kevin. She sits at the bar so as better to hear Tom. Meanwhile, Tom tells Felicia, "Let's give your instincts a round of applause, you definitely made the right decision." Felicia is confused. He tells her he made an "ass of myself," in Philadelphia, pointing to his jaw. Lucy mutters, "That's for sure!" Kevin is frustrated with Lucy for ignoring him, and she tells him she is protecting "her very best friend," and shushes him. Back to Tom and Felicia, [ video 36A (1 min; 2.4 Meg)] "The condensed version," he tells her how he drank too much, he saw how beautiful Simon looked, and the fact that she was with Justus "began to eat at me." He tells her that "it was so final. So permanent," he tells her that he kissed Simone. All the while Tom is playing Felicia too. "I bet that went over really well?" He tells her that Justus' actions were appropriate. She figures out that Justus decked him. "There I went, down on my keister, highly undignified." Tom adds that he tried to apologize. Lucy, knowing the truth, listens in, fuming. Kevin is not interested, and wants her to talk about their problems. Kevin does not want her to go with Damian to get back at him [Kevin], and chance putting herself in danger and jeopardizing their relationship. She does not listening what he is saying, still focused on Tom. Tom tells Felicia that this all has taught him to ease up on drinking. Not being able to take his act any longer, Lucy tells him off,  "Tom Hardy! You are completely outrageous! And you ought to be ashamed of yourself!" Felicia looks at Tom. Lucy then walks over to them and tells Felicia she wants her to listen to her. She then proceeds to tell Felicia that Tom was not drunk and that he did it to goad Justus, so as to embarrass him to make he look bad to Simone. "Out of curiosity," Tom asks, "where did you arrive at such a conclusion?" She tells him that "a friend" saw him go to the bathroom and scruff himself up, and that "her friend" saw him dump his drink, "and not five minutes later, all hell breaks loose." She has to admit that it was a genius act. "A little warped, but genius often is." Tom is frowning as she speaks, "Where did this preposterous scenario in the men's room come from?" She has to admit it came from Damian. Kevin is frustrated, "Oh, for god's sake!" "And you take him at his word?", Tom asks knowing that now no one will believe the truth. She wonders why he would lie since he does not know you. Kevin has had it he wants to talk with her, when she tells him she is not done, Kevin leaves in disgust. Felicia tells Lucy that Kevin cares about her, and he does not need to be treated the way she is treating him; she adds that if she feels the same way, she better listen to what she has to say. Tom butts in, "I don't mean to seem self-absorbed, I.... I feel the need to defend myself." Putting on a pretty good act, "I.... I vaguely remember throwing away a drink as I started to feel sick. Bu.... I.... I even remember that it wasn't even my drink." Lucy tells him that is true, it was her drink which he stole. "Perhaps I owe you an apology as well."  Felicia suggest they just apologize to each other. Lucy is aghast,  "For what!" Felicia tells her that "Tom could be telling the truth," and she adds she trusts him over Damian. Lucy begrudgingly  complies, "If and that's a big if, I owe you an apology, then here it is," saying it quickly, "I apologize." "Accepted, and unnecessary." She leaves in disgust. [ video 36B (25 sec; 920K)] Tom thinks it is best he also leaves. He thanks Felicia for the support, "it's really a very important commodity." She wonders why; by her look, it appears Felicia may not be so sure Tom is telling the truth. Tom wonders why. She wonders why it should matter, either way. "Because you're a friend of mine and your opinion of me counts." He adds that "it is important to me that there's somebody in this town who believes me when I say a thing is so. And I like that person to be you. Good enough?" Still not so sure, she tells him, "For the moment."

It is Thanksgiving, and Felicia and her daughter Maxie are setting things up for the Brownstone dinner. Tom comes down the stairs with a bottle of wine, "Now there's a sight to be thankful for." Maxie runs to him, calling him "Uncle Tom," and jumping into his arms. He flings her up, and she shouts, "UP AND OVER." So he complies, lifting her up in the air a couple of times. Felicia worries; she say one more time, for they might make a hole in their ceiling. He gives Maxie the wine with instructions to bring it to Bobbie. He tells her that then they could all could go play outside. Frowning, "Do you know how cold it is outside?", Felicia asks. "Aren't you the girl who likes brisk?" She has to admit that he got her. Just then Tommy runs down the stairs and greets his father. Tommy is going to the Ward House to have dinner with the Wards and all the kids at the house.  "But don't forget," Tom tells him, as he helps him put on his coat, "that Grandpa needs your help to root for PCU today." Tommy wonders if Tom will be there too. Tom assures him he will, he will be there for pie and the last quarter of the game. Just then Simone and Justus walk down the stairs. "Simone wishes Felicia happy Thanksgiving, but notices Tom. Tommy tells his mother, "We are going to Grandma and Grandpa's to see the last quarter of the football game." Sounding surprised, "We are?" Trying to guilt her Tom tells her that his parents are looking forward to it. She looks over towards Justus who flashes a look knowing all too well that it is another one of Tom's schemes. Simone looks at Tom with the same expression. Tom affects a look of innocence. She is confused because Audrey did not mention anything. Trying to clear himself he tells her that maybe his mother assumed she would come, and he knows she looks forward to seeing them. Tommy pleads with his mother. She reluctantly agrees, saying she will call Audrey. They leave.  Tom tells Felicia that maybe she should check to see if Bobbie needs their help. Once she leaves the room Tom calls his mother. His father answers, and wonders if Tom was dropping by. Tom tells him he has to talk to his mother about coming by. Steve gives the phone to Audrey telling her to convince Tom to drop by. "I have a big favor to ask of you," he tells her, just then Felicia returns and listens quietly. Tom continues, "I took a big leap of faith, and I assumed that you and Dad would want Tommy there, so I told Simone that Dad was expecting him." He adds that he wants her to cover for him when Simone calls. She, of course, is all too willing. He assures her that he will be coming as well. Felicia stares at him, not amused, Tom senses she is there, and wonders "So, what's the story." She would like to know, were his parents expecting Tommy. "They are now," it not certain if he is covering or really is embarrassed and angry with himself, "I did it. I used my son."  She tells him, "It worked." She tells him "Justus looked like  a thundercloud," and that now this will be a problem for him and Simone, this will ruin their holiday which in turn will affect Tommy. He tries to convince her that he did not want that to happen. (Due to his own history) He tells her "You do not know what it is like to be a little kid, caught between your parents' mistakes." She tells him that he does, so he should not do the same thing to Tommy. Sounding sincere, he tells her he promised himself that he would not. "That's one more promise I didn't keep." She reassuringly pats his shoulder, telling him it was "not that bad a slip up." He thinks it was. He wants her to stop him from doing it again, "kick me, slap me, hit me on the head, just don't let me use my son." Just then Lucy rushes in, frantic. Her duck, Sigmund, has disappeared. Tom wonders, "How." She frantically tells them she does not know how. Felicia wonders "as in ran away," and Tom asks, "as in ducknapped?" This makes her gasp in terror, she tells him that since the window was open, maybe"some degenerate broke in and snatched him!" Bobbie comes in asking about the magazine, since she does not know when "to turn down the temperature on the ducks."  "MURDERESS!", cries Lucy and before she can attack Bobbie, Tom grabs her; Felicia has to help him. Tony comes in wondering what is going on. Felicia tells Bobbie what happened. Bobbie is aghast that Lucy would think she would cook Sigmund. Lucy breaks free of Tom, and is still disgusted that they would serve ducks. She cannot believe that even Felicia would eat duck, "This whole town has gone.... mad!", she declares and storms off. The four of them hold back, but are obviously about to break down laughing. Later Luke (Bobbie is Luke's sister) and his son Lucky arrive at the Brownstone for Thanksgiving dinner. Lucky talks about how when he was young everyone would talk about everything they were thankful for, and he thought it was like school work. He tells them that at the time he did not realize what it meant to be grateful; however, now  that his father is home and that his family has been reunited, he is wants to thank whomever or whatever there is that he is grateful. Felicia smiles, and Tom behind looks sad and wistful.

Over at the Ward House, Justus is telling Tommy and Simone what to expect for Thanksgiving dinner. Tommy leaves the room, and Simone uses the phone to call Audrey to check on Tom's story about Audrey and Steve expecting her and Tommy later. Supporting her son, before Simone can say anything, Audrey tells her that she and Steve were hoping that she  and Tom would drop by later, and she added that Steve would be thrilled if Tommy watched the end of the game with him.  Simone is pressured into accepting. Justus is accepting, and he tells her that then Tommy can return there after the game. However, he is sure Tom might try some other ploy to prevent  that. Simone wants Justus to stop. She believes that this time Tom did not manipulate the situation, and that Audrey sincerely wants them there; she adds that this is a tradition for Tommy.

Another day, it is early morning, Felicia is outside on the patio, when a bag falls from the sky. She looks up to see Tom smiling and waving to her. She picks up the bag. He shouts down to her to have some. She motions to be quiet, and motions for him to come down and join her. He motions back that he will. She smiles, it seems like she enjoys the idea of spending more time with Tom. Shortly after, Tom comes down with a pot of coffee. "Thanks for the air drop," she tells him. She is surprised, she thought that only she got up early, she wonders "is it normal for you." "More often than  I like." It is often hard for him to get back to sleep, "So I just wake up and jog down to the bakery." She tells him, "There's a mixed message." He tells her that this morning, he actually walked and then back home, he looked out the window, "and there you were." He notices that she looks preoccupied and sad, "So what haunts your sleep? She tells him it is what is happening to Robin and Stone. " Is this something private or do you care to talk about it?" She tells him that they amaze her; she witness them falling in love." She tells him that Mac fought the relationship, and did not like Stone. She says but she did. Tom listens on compassionately and feeling her pain. "Everybody likes Stone," Tom adds. She continues, she tries to imagine how it would be like for her to know and see Frisco dying in stages. She would not if she could handle it as well and as mature as Robin. He tells her that Robin probably "would see things differently." She is amazed by how Stone bravely without complaining has faced dying for these many months. She tells Tom that the two of them are "so heavily on her mind.

Meanwhile Robin has been lying throughout the night next to Stone. They share a moment and he dies. She goes over to tell her uncle Mac, and he comforts her. The doorbell rings, and she goes to answer, it is Felicia. She has some stuff for her and Stone. Robin tells her about Stone dying that morning, and Felicia tries to comfort her.

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