Episode #352

Previously ...
- Tim prepared to reunite with his children. He overheard Claire telling Ryan that she is committed to her marriage and realized that Ryan is the man Claire has been seeing. He did not let them know he had overheard.
- On the heels of the news that Molly is pregnant, Brent proposed marriage to her.


With every step she takes toward the house, Diane Bishop's body tenses a little more. Ever since she received the call from Claire, she has felt a steadily growing sense of anxiety. The news about Tim is hard to swallow, but so is her excitement about seeing him again--particularly for her daughter's sake.

Samantha's fingers curl around her hand as they cross the street and climb the front steps. Per Claire's suggestion, she hasn't explained to Samantha the reason for this impromptu visit. Now Tim has had some time to settle in, and the adults have had the opportunity to absorb the first layers of their shock. It's much better than springing this on Samantha and Travis without any preparation.

Samantha lets go of her mother's hand as she bounds up the steps. She pushes on the doorbell as Diane hurries to catch up.

As they wait for the door to open, Diane looks down at her little girl. She has heard countless stories about her father; his spirit has very much been a part of her life, especially since they returned to King's Bay. But Samantha was so young when Tim disappeared. Even though she has seen photographs and home videos of Tim, Diane still has to wonder if a seven-year-old can really grasp the significance of what is going on.

Time to find out, I guess, she thinks as the door is unlocked and opened.

"Hi," Claire says to Diane. She looks down at Samantha, and her face lights up. "Hi, sweetie."

"Hi!" Samantha says. She shoots quickly inside the house, the same way she always does.

Diane is about to ask Claire where Tim is, but when Claire steps aside, her question is answered.


On the eighteenth floor of Winston Tower, Camille Lemieux sits behind her enormous desk. An assortment of sketches and notes covers the desk, and despite Camille's most valiant efforts, the material has yet to move into any sort of organized form.

She is more than happy to look up from the desk when Molly Fisher enters her office.

"Looks like you're in the same boat I am," Molly says as she takes a seat across from Camille.

"I have plenty of ideas, but none of them seem to be coming together."

Molly offers an empathetic nod. "I think it's the holidays. I feel like I won't be able to focus on anything major until they're over."

"I have a few thoughts that we can work with," Camille says. "Maybe." She glances over a few of the sketches again. She has been trying her hardest to settle on a direction for their new line, but these odds and ends are all she has to show for herself thus far.

"I keep feeling tempted to use Asian influences," she explains, "especially something Japanese. We haven't done much of that yet ..."

"That whole Harajuku thing is pretty big right now," Molly agrees.

She takes a number of the sketches into her own hands and looks over them. Camille watches, waiting for a response. This is far from her favorite work, but she does think there are some positive elements in the sketches. She hopes that Molly sees the potential, too.

Molly holds up a sketch of a top. It's a very loose drawing, emphasizing the shape and the line of a basic shirt. Camille could picture the shirt's form well, but thus far hasn't figured out any greater level of detail.

"I like this," Molly says. "Maybe if we took this cut down a little more sharply ..."

Camille likes the idea. "That's why I need you around, Molly. You recognize things like that, things that wouldn't occur to me otherwise."

"I wouldn't be able to do it if you hadn't taught me so well," Molly says. She glances back at the sketches, but instead of studying them some more, she sets them down on the desk. "There's something I've got to get out of my system."

The words alarm Camille, but Molly's expression tells her that there is nothing to worry about.

"What is it?"

Molly cannot keep the smile off her face. "I have news. Big news."


"This looks so awesome," Josh Taylor says as he picks up the grilled cheese sandwich from his plate. "Thanks, babe."

He plants a quick kiss on Courtney Chase's cheek and then sits down at the table to work on the sandwiches and tomato soup that she has prepared for lunch. Josh and Scotty kept complaining about being hungry, but they seemed too enthralled by their video games to do anything about it. Finally Courtney decided that she would take the initiative.

"You rock," Scotty tells her, through a bite of his grilled cheese. Courtney is amazed to see that he is already halfway done with one sandwich.

She takes a seat at the table and has a few spoonfuls of the warm soup.

"Do you wanna go to the mall in maybe half-an-hour or so?" Josh asks.

Courtney nods. "Yeah, that sounds good. I'm almost done with my shopping, so it shouldn't take too long."

"I could probably stand to pick up a few more things," he says. "You think I could maybe talk you into helping me with the whole wrapping thing?"

"I'm pretty sure I could be persuaded."

"Good, because I suck at it."

Courtney isn't surprised; neither Josh nor Scotty strikes her as the domestic type. Sometimes she is amazed that the house hasn't exploded yet, from sheer lack of attention to what she considers basic housekeeping.

Before she can comment on that, though, the doorbell rings.

"That's gotta be my brother," Josh says, rising from his seat. "Dude, Scotty, go in your room and shut the door. I'm not so sure my brother the cop would love a room full of bongs and stuff."

Without protest, Scotty picks up what's left of his sandwich, grabs another one for the road, and heads for his bedroom.

"I wish he'd take it easy sometimes," Josh remarks to Courtney.

Josh crosses through the living room, where the Playstation 2 is paused, their game frozen on the screen. He opens the door, and sure enough, there is Brent, his coat zipped up against the December chill.

"Hey, bro," Josh says. He steps to the side to let Brent into the house.

"Good to see you," Brent says. "It's been way too long."

Courtney joins them in the living room and says hello to Brent. She stands by Josh's side as he says to Brent, "I kinda forgot we were living in the same town there for a while."

"I was off on a hell of an adventure," Brent says. "Everything should settle down for the holidays, though. You're going to San Diego for Christmas?"

"Yeah. Are you coming?"

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about. I think there's going to be a change of plans."


The sight of Tim is a shock to Diane's system. Although Claire warned her about his appearance, Diane was not prepared for this.

He sits in a wheelchair in the middle of the living room, a bright smile held on his face even though it appears to take all of his energy to maintain it. He is gaunt, so thin and so pale that Diane fears he might snap if hugged too hard. He hardly even looks like himself.

"Diane," he says, surprising her with the strength of his voice. "Hi."

She finds it suddenly difficult to speak. "It's good to see you."

"It's good to see you, too," he responds, and she gets the impression that he genuinely means it.

"Samantha," Diane says. "Come here for a minute."

Sam stands uncertainly toward the corner of the room. She holds her hands together shyly and studies Tim.

"Do you know who this is?" Diane asks. She kneels beside her daughter and takes the little girl's hand in her own.

Samantha continues to stare, offering no response. Diane worries that this is too much for her, and immediately her ire toward Claire begins to rise. Springing something like this on a child was a horrible idea. They should have prepared her--

"Daddy?" Samantha says. Her expression brightens as the corners of her lips curve into a hesitant smile.

"That's right, this is your Daddy," Diane says. A wave of relief washes over her.

Tim sits patiently, waiting for his daughter's complete reaction before he makes any sort of move.

Samantha looks at him quizzically, as if waiting for some sort of answer to appear. "Why aren't you in Heaven?" she finally asks.

Even though it is an honest question, Tim can't help but crack a tiny laugh.

"I was never there," Tim says. "Everyone thought I was, but I really just went to a hospital for a long time."

Planting her hands on her hips, Sam turns to Claire. "Why didn't you see him at the hospital?"

"He was at a different hospital, honey," Claire says. "But none of us knew he was there."

"That's weird," Samantha says, shaking her head. She rushes over to Tim and hugs his arm.

Diane watches as Tim scoops his daughter up into his lap. She doesn't want to frighten Samantha, but she wants to warn her to be careful with Tim, fragile as he is.

Suddenly Claire is beside her.

"That was easier than I expected," Claire whispers.

"Seriously." Diane folds her arms as she watches father and daughter together. "It went well with Travis, too?"

"Yeah," Claire says, nodding ever so slightly. "I'm so happy they have their father back."

For once, Diane can't find a single reason to disagree with Claire.


Molly allows the suspense to dangle in the air for a long moment.

"Well, let's have it," Camille says. "What's your news?"

Clasping her hands together, Molly says coyly, "I hope you don't have New Year's plans."

"Nothing set in stone, no. There are a few functions I had planned on stopping in at--"

"I've got one more for you to add to the list."

"You're throwing a party?"

"Yeah," Molly says, extending her right hand. "It's a celebration, really."

It takes only a second for Camille's eye to gravitate toward the diamond perched on Molly's ring finger.

"Oh, Molly!" she exclaims. "You and Brent--this is an engagement party, then?"

"In a manner of speaking, yeah. We wanted to have a party to celebrate, and what better way to ring in the new year?"

"It's a marvelous idea," Camille says, still examining the ring. "Oh, darling, I'm so happy for you!"

"Thanks." Molly withdraws her hand, and her demeanor suddenly becomes more reserved. "I just hope too many people don't have plans yet. This is so last-minute."

"Nonsense. I'm sure it will come together wonderfully."

"Thanks, Camille," Molly says. "I hope you're right."


"So, as much as I tried to keep her out of there, it was lucky that Molly was wandering around," Brent says, "or we might've never found Tim there."

"That's nuts," Josh says, still absorbing his brother's story. It has taken Brent some time to recount the entire Vermont adventure, but Josh and Courtney have been enraptured by the tale.

Courtney pulls one leg up onto the couch. "It's so amazing that Tim is alive. I need to go see him."

"We should," Josh says.

"That might be a little awkward ..." Courtney contends.

"Actually, you'll have the chance to see him really soon," Brent says. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about, Josh."

Josh raises an eyebrow at his brother. "Tim Fisher?"

"No. I mean, Courtney will have a chance to see Tim really soon." Seeing their confusion, Brent explains, "Molly and I are throwing a party on New Year's Eve."

"Isn't that kinda short notice?" Coming from Josh, this is more a criticism than a question.

"It is," Brent concedes, "but there's a special reason for it. Molly and I are engaged."

"Whoa! Congrats, bro!" Josh offers Brent a hard slap on the shoulder.

"Congratulations," Courtney says. "So is this, like, an engagement party?"

"I guess so." Brent shrugs. "I'm just going along with Molly on the details!"

"Have you told Dad and Danielle yet?" Josh asks.

Brent responds with a nod. "When you fly back from San Diego, you won't be flying alone."

"They're coming for the party?"

"Yep. They really want to be here for it," Brent says.

"Sounds like it'll be fun," Courtney says, shifting her weight again.

Josh laughs. "I'm always down for a good party."

"It should definitely be a good party," Brent says. Resting his elbows on his knees, he leans toward his brother. "But there's one more favor I've got to ask of you--and it's a biggie."


Will Molly and Brent be able to pull off a successful celebration?
Will Tim's return help Diane get along better with the Fishers?
Come on over to the Footprints Forum to discuss this episode!

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