Episode #348

Previously ...
- Torn up over his encounter with Jake and Sarah, Matt struggled through his shift at the restaurant. Afterward, he commisserated over drinks with Jennie, a waitress.
- Molly and Brent brought Tim back to King's Bay.
- Tim had an emotional reunion with his family, including Claire.


Not too long ago, the Fishers' living room was abuzz with excitement, as most of the family gathered to welcome Tim home. Now the room has cleared out, but that magical spark in the air has not abated. At Paula's suggestion, everyone has gone their own ways, allowing Tim and Claire some time alone. Claire sits on the sofa, with Tim no more than a foot away from her in his wheelchair.

"You know," Tim says, "the very first thing I thought of, when I woke up in that clinic, was you. It was a split-second, before I even thought about where I was or what was going on. But I thought about you--that waking up meant I got to see you."

Claire purses her lips tightly as she tries to fathom what kind of horrible place Tim has been kept all this time, and even worse, for what purpose. "I'm still amazed that Molly and Brent managed to get you out of there."

"So am I. Not that I had much of a clue what was going on at that point." Tim offers a weak chuckle.

She can tell that he is trying so hard to be positive, but he looks run down, exhausted. The man she remembers is in there somewhere; from what Claire sees, though, he isn't as close to the surface as Tim wants her to believe.

As if able to read her mind, Tim adds, "I can't believe how much time we've lost--I've lost. I cannot wrap my mind around the idea that it's been four years ..."

"I know." She runs her fingers over his, trying once more to comprehend how this is happening. "I know, Tim. I had to force myself to accept the idea that I would never see you again, never talk to you again or touch you again."

He places a hand on her knee. His touch is warm, even through her jeans.

"I'm just so grateful," he says. "I have a second chance at life, with my family, and my wife, and my children."

"I still haven't told them. I couldn't--I didn't even know how to begin. I didn't think I could until you were really back here."

"We'll do it together. Soon. But Claire ..."

The way his voice tapers off fills her with dread. She can tell what is coming, and it is something that she has been dreading ever since receiving the news that Tim was alive and coming home. She has been hoping that she could stall for a while and build up her nerve, but apparently, this conversation is going to occur on Tim's terms.

"This still doesn't seem real to me," he says. "I don't remember anything about the last four years. I had no idea what was going on, and then to wake up and come back here ... it's amazing. Surreal."

She nods and begins to relax. Maybe he's not--

"But I also have no idea what your life has been like the last few years," Tim continues. "I want to hear all about it, whenever you feel comfortable telling me."

"You don't even know how much there is to tell."

Concern flashes across his face and then lingers there as he goes on. "What I'm trying to say is, to me, it's natural to be back here with you and the kids. It's the only life I know. But time kept moving for you, and ..." He focuses down on his hands. "You thought I was dead, and--well, I can only imagine that you've moved on with your life in a lot of ways."


But he cuts her off by placing his hand on her again, this time on her forearm.

"Claire, we can work through this. But I need to know: Have you gotten involved with anyone else?"


Molly Fisher wonders how long it will take to fully sink in. Tim's 'resurrection'. As surreal as it was to have Tim back with them, talking with them, in the same room with them--having him back in King's Bay is for real. They brought him home, and he's here to stay.

Molly finally gives herself a chance to stop and catch a breath once she and Brent are inside. It seems like with everything that's happened, they've been on auto-pilot for days now. Could it be that they finally have a chance to take a moment to themselves?

Not quite.

"I have to go pick up Rex at the kennel. They close in an hour," Molly said, only now realizing what time it is.

"Yeah, it did seem a little too quiet walking through the front door without him yapping at our heels."

Molly pulls on her Nine West jacket and walks to the door.

"Are you leaving right this second?" Brent asks with a frown.

"I know we just got back and everything, but if I don't pick up Rex tonight ..."

"No, I know, it's just ... I wanted to talk to you."

Molly's touched by his sweetness and sincerity. And the fact that he doesn't want her to leave him for even a few minutes to pick up their pug at the kennel. "We'll have the rest of the night to be together when I get back," Molly says teasingly.

"Mol, wait," Brent says, more serious now. "Rex can wait. I think there's something important we need to talk about. That's what I meant."

"Brent, what is it?" Molly asks, concerned now as she comes away from the door.

"I'm worried about you," he says, earning a puzzled look from Molly. "Ever since we found Tim, you've been acting strangely, and I think there's something else going on here, but I don't know what."

Molly bites her lip, unsure of what she should say.

"You can tell me anything, Molly. If something's wrong, I want to know."

Molly takes a breath. "You're right," she confesses. "There's something I need to tell you."


Matt Gray turns the key and unlocks his front door. He pushes the door open--apparently too hard, because it goes flying into the wall.

"Whoa, whoa," Jennie Burkle says from behind him. She grabs him by the arm to guide him into the apartment.

"I'm fine," Matt says, although he questions how true that is. They spent over two hours sitting at the bar after their shifts ended, and Matt is feeling all those beers he knocked back much more than he expected he would.

He hears Jennie close the door.

"Thanks for driving me home," he says.

"No problem. I sure wasn't gonna let you drive."

He nods in agreement and looks around. The whole apartment appears to be coated in a fuzziness, as if someone blended the edges of all the objects into one another so that there is no definite point where one ends and another begins.

"Sorry I drank so much," he says. "I was just puttin' 'em down, and--"

"Seriously, Matt, don't worry about it."

"You sure?"

"Yeah! You're upset, which makes total sense right now. Nothing wrong with drowning your sorrows every now and then."

He plops down onto the couch. "I guess not."

His attempts to center his vision by focusing on the blank TV screen seem to work momentarily, but then the blurriness returns. His head slumps onto the back of the couch.

"There used to be a time when I was sure we were gonna wind up together, Sarah and I," he says, "no matter how hard it was to get there."

"You don't believe that anymore?"

"I don't know how I can. It's one thing after another ..." He rocks forward and rests his elbows on his knees. "There's a point where it gets to be too much, you know?"

"From the sounds of it, you've hung in there a lot longer than most people would," Jennie says. She comes closer, stopping just behind the couch.


"Matt, you're a terrific guy." He feels her hands settling on his shoulders. "And if Sarah can't appreciate that, I'm sure someone else will."


Even though she saw it coming, Tim's question takes Claire off-guard. She hasn't even had time to rehearse what she's going to tell him, and now the conversation is actually happening.

He must see her alarm, because he quickly adds, "I want you to be comfortable talking to me. We have enough going on. We don't need to add misunderstandings to the pile."

She has envisioned all sorts of ways that this scenario might play out, but Tim being so open and understanding was not one that crossed her mind. Now that she is with him, though, she realizes that she should have known better; the man she married cares too much about her to act any differently.

"Yeah," she says, unable to make eye contact. "I have. I mean, I am."

Despite how considerate he has been so far, a wave of shock overtakes Tim momentarily. He covers it quickly, but it is visible to Claire, and she feels a flurry of panic within her. She should have waited. She should have softened the blow more. This is going to kill him.

"And it's going well?" Tim asks, a question that Claire recognizes as being laden with hidden meaning.

How long has it been going on? Is it serious? Does he love you? Do you love him?

"It is, yeah." She brushes a few loose strands of hair back behind her ear. "It's been kind of rocky, but yeah, it's more or less going well."

She can't believe that she is having a conversation about who she's dating with her husband. This has to be some sort of alternate universe.

She also recognizes what has to be coming next, and she knows this is her opportunity to regain some control of the situation.

"We can talk more about it later," she says. "It's--Tim, I'm just so happy to have you home and safe. But I think there's something your parents want to talk to you about, too."

"What?" Panic again dominates his expression.

"Stay calm. They have something they want to tell you about, that's all."

"Okay ..." He looks to her for some clue, but she doesn't even want to begin to touch this.

"Hey, Paula?" she calls out. "Bill? Can you guys come in here?"

Seconds later, Tim's parents make their way out of the kitchen.

"What is it?" Paula asks.

Claire stands, preparing to make her exit. She doesn't think that she should be present for this, nor does she want to be. "Why don't you guys have some time with Tim? I know there's some stuff you need to discuss."

Paula and Bill share a fleeting moment of panic, but they wash over it almost immediately. Claire hopes that Tim didn't notice. The last thing they need is him getting worked up over something.

If anything's going to get him worked up, though, she's pretty sure that this will be it.

"I'm going to call the hospital and make sure there's someone to take my shift tomorrow morning," Claire says. "I'll leave you alone."

With grim nods, Paula and Bill watch her go.

"What's going on?" Tim asks before his parents even have a chance to sit down.

Paula and Bill sit beside one another on the sofa. Paula looks to her husband for some guidance, and he motions for her to begin.

"Well," she says slowly, every word suddenly a challenge, "we have important news to share with you. News about our family."


"There's something I need to tell you," Molly says, wishing she could know how Brent will react to her news. There's only one way to find out.

"I'm pregnant," she says, as his face contorts into a mixture of shock and ... something else?

"What? You're pregnant?" Brent echoes. "You're pregnant, and you didn't tell me?" Softly, he adds, "Do you know for sure?"

"I should have told you sooner, but with everything going on, the timing just wasn't right. I was so worried with the Heritage Clinic, and getting Tim home, and getting attacked--I didn't even find out for myself until they checked me out in Vermont."

Brent is silent, and Molly continues rambling. Has she upset him by keeping this from him? She didn't even realize she was keeping it from him. She's barely even had the time to digest the news herself!

"I know, this is all pretty sudden. It hasn't even really hit me yet, but we're going to have a baby, Brent!" Molly says, unable to hide her enthusiasm. "Isn't this what you want? Just tell me what you're feeling."

Why isn't he saying anything? Molly thought he would be happy about this, but maybe having a child together is just too much of a committment, too soon. She should have known, after all Brent went through with Sarah and when he thought he was Victoria's father. Maybe he isn't ready to rush into anything.

"All I'm feeling is numb," Brent says, smiling at her after his near-eternity of silence. "It's hard to swallow. I'd been thinking the worst -- I just never even imagined ..."

Molly sighs in relief and returns his smile.

"I'm going to be a dad?"

Molly nods as tears well up in the corners of her eyes.

"This is the best news I could have received," Brent says joyfully, wrapping his arms around Molly and pulling her into a kiss.


Jennie's hands linger on Matt's shoulders, her touch just strong enough for him to detect.

"It's my fault, too," he continues.

"It's not your fault! How is it your fault?" Jennie pats both of his shoulders simultaneously. "You're not the one who brought your brother here, like Sarah did. And you're not the one who held a grudge for so long, like your brother did."

Matt shakes his head, but he stops when he notices that the room has started to spin. "It's more complicated than that."

"I really don't think--"

"If I had been smarter about stuff, it never would've gotten to this point."

He senses that Jennie is waiting for him to say more, but he doesn't feel like elaborating. If he had controlled himself where Nicole was concerned ... if he hadn't betrayed Jake to begin with ... if he hadn't fallen for Sarah in the first place, let alone deluded himself into thinking that he and Sarah could have a future ...

"Don't be so hard on yourself," Jennie says. She crosses around to the front of the couch. "Maybe it's time you made some changes in your life."

He looks up at her. "What do you mean?"

She shrugs and hesitates before saying, "Well, you don't seem very happy with the way a lot of things are going in your life. There's no reason you can't change some of those things, right?"

Matt isn't sure how to respond to that, and his thought process becomes even more congested when Jennie settles next to him on the couch.

"Matt, you're a great guy. You don't deserve all this crap."

"No, I really do."

"No, you don't!" Jennie shifts so that she is sitting sideways, facing him, with one leg tucked beneath her. "You're being way too hard on yourself. Get it out of your head that you're wrong and everyone else is right--especially Sarah. 'Cause from what I do know, you've been nothing but patient with her, and she's pushed you and pushed you ..."

Her speech drops off, fading into nothing, but her stare holds strong on Matt. He glances away; the room is even fuzzier now. When he looks back, Jennie's gaze is still locked upon him, and she seems even closer.

"You deserve to be appreciated," she says.

Matt wants to protest, but Jennie is moving closer, and maybe she's right. Maybe he is putting too much of the burden on himself, especially after all the potholes that he and Sarah have hit.

Their faces are separated by mere millimeters now. He thinks that Jennie is going to say something else, but this time, when her lips part, she leans forward ever so slightly and kisses him.

He tries to figure out why he is letting this happen, but everything that has happened today keeps swirling through his head, blocking his thoughts.

He is still trying to figure it out as Jennie's hands grasp the bottom of his t-shirt and pull it upward.


It takes Tim only a second to realize what this is about. "Mom, did you--"

"I had Sarah investigate the court records," Paula says, "to find the son I put up for adoption."

"Did you find him?" Tim asks, his expression brightening.

"We did," Bill says. "Your mother and I didn't agree at first, but as time has gone by, we've begun to see eye-to-eye on this issue. She needed to know."

"So what you're saying is that I have another brother to meet?"

Paula smiles as warmly as she can. Tim's enthusiasm calms her at first, but then she is reminded of how much he still doesn't know. She doubts he will be so excited once he hears the rest of the story.

Noticing their hesitation, Tim adds, "I know you're all worried about shocking me with all this stuff, but I don't want you to tip-toe around me. I want to meet my brother."

Awkwardness descends upon the three of them as Paula and Bill struggle for the right words.

"What's wrong?" Tim asks. "Did it not go well? Do you not get along with him?"

"No, no, we've grown much closer since we found out," Paula says.

"Then what's the problem?"

Bill cuts in. "Maybe it's not a problem. We're hoping it won't be. But Tim ... you already know your brother."

"What?" He scavenges through his memory, blurry as some of it is. "Who is he?"

Paula draws a deep breath and again looks to Bill for support. He urges her on.

"Your brother," Paula tells him, "is Ryan Moriani."


Are Matt and Sarah finally through?
How will Tim react to the news of his brother's identity?
And will he put the pieces together?
Can Molly and Brent finally have their happy ending?
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