Springfield Bound – A Collection of Short Lost Scenes in and around the Guiding Light Finale
This is quite literally a series of lost scenes as I imagined them. They fit in between the actual episodes of Guiding Light and I have labeled accordingly where the real episodes fit in between. They are mostly focused on Manny, but they also interact with other characters. Most just help explain things that happened on screen, but a few are conversations I think are long overdue and some are just Manny being them and being happy.
Danny, Michelle, Robbie, and Hope Santos pull up and park at the Bauer House in their rental car from the airport. Robbie has been chattering away to Hope about the Bauer BBQs he remembered, everything they’re going to see and how he thinks this year Uncle Rick is going to start teaching him to use the BBQ and maybe he’ll even let them try on “the hat.” Danny pulls into the parking area and stops the car. Michelle bends forward slightly, peering out the car windshield taking in her family home and her mother’s garden, and all the other cars she knows must belong to family and friends. A lot can change in 3 years. Danny notices she makes no move to get out of the car. He undoes his seatbelt and leans over putting one hand on the back of her neck and entwining his other one with hers as it rests on her knee. She gives him a quick glance and smile and squeezes his hand.
Danny: “Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve been back, Honey. Are you ready to face all those old memories?”
Michelle: “They were mostly good ones and I wouldn’t trade even a minute of the bad as long as it got us here.”
Danny: “Neither would I. Happy 3rd and 5th anniversary, Honey.”
Michelle: “Did you think I could forget?” (Rueful laugh turning happy.)
They lean in together for an amazing kiss.
Robbie: “Come on Dad. I want to see Uncle Rick.” Robbie jumps out of the car. “Come on, Hope.” She quickly follows her big brother.
Danny: “Ok, Tiger. We’re coming.”
Danny gives Michelle one more quick kiss and they get out of the car and follow their children into the Bauer BBQ hand in hand.
Guiding Light episodes from July 2nd and 3rd, 2009 – Bauer BBQ
(Plane in Route for California from Springfield, July 5th, 2009. It’s a small commuter plane with 2 seats on each side of the aisle, they will have to transfer in St. Louis. Each one of the kids has a window seat and Danny and Michelle are sitting across the aisle from one another. They are still sitting at the gate as passengers continue to load and the “no electronics” sign has not yet been turned on.)
Danny looks up in irritation when somebody drops a pillow on his head while reaching up for the overhead bin. “Watch it.” He grumps before politely handing it back. Turning to Michelle, “I told you Fourth of July weekend would be a nightmare for flying. Why can’t you admit your handsome husband is always right?”
Michelle laughs at his expression as it turns into a puppy dog pout. “Ok, Mister, you could have told your son he’d have to miss his soon to be championship soccer game and then you could be right all you want.” She laughed again.
Danny sighed. He knew she was right, but knowing why you HAD to do something didn’t mean you actually liked to do it. He fidgeted in his seat and turned to her again. “They definitely did not design these seats for someone with legs as long as mine.”
This, Michelle knew, was a legitimate complaint, if not one she could share with her petite frame. “Well, don’t let yourself get too cramped up. Once we take off, walk around a little. It isn’t good for your circulation to be squeezed in like that for the whole flight. You should get a little exercise.”
“Exercise, hmmm.” He cocked an eyebrow at her. “If the munchkins weren’t along we could try for the bathroom and renew our…” He paused and looked at Robbie in the seat beside him, but he seemed totally absorbed in his video game. His eyes moved over to Hope on the other side of Michelle, Hope was absorbed in brushing her doll’s hair, so he continued seductively, “‘club membership.’”
“That sounds inviting. Does that plane you rent to keep your flight hours up have an autopilot, Mr. Santos? ” Michelle purred. She suggestively bit her lower lip and gave him a look.
“Why, Mrs. Santos, I believe it does.” He was grinning back at her now.
“Well, Mr. Santos, maybe I should go with you the next time you go up. That ‘membership’ definitely needs to be renewed.” She gave him a wink and for a second they had totally forgotten about all the other travelers and even their children right beside them. They started to lean across the aisle for a kiss, when Robbie suddenly piped up.
“Daddy, why does Mom want a turn to go up in the plane?” Normally, if they weren’t required instructor hours so a teacher would have to be in the other seat, Robbie and Hope took turns going up with their father and if Mommy was suddenly going to start taking a turn it would cut down on their number of times they could go. “And what club do you have to be in a plane to renew a membership?”
Danny grimaced, so his son wasn’t as absorbed in the video game as he had hoped. He made an effort to cover the situation. “Well, Mom doesn’t normally get a turn. It would be nice to let her have one for once, wouldn’t it?”
Robbie considered, “Yeah, I guess so.” “Once,” he thought, “that doesn’t sound so bad. As long as she didn’t want a turn all the time it wouldn’t matter.”
“Good.” Danny said, hoping Robbie would miss that he hadn’t answered the second question. He did not want to think of a good explanation to give his young son for the Mile High Club. Really he should have known better. Robbie was Michelle’s son and he wasn’t going to let something like a nonanswer get by him anymore than she would.
“What kind of club is it?” Robbie asked again.
“It’s a special club for Mommies and Daddies.” Danny was getting a little flustered trying to think what else to say about it. Then inspiration struck. “You’ll probably join after you get old enough. I’ll tell you about it then.”
“DANNY!” Michelle said shocked from across the aisle. She had been enjoying his discomfort at explaining the “club,” but this was a bit much.
“What?” He shot her a rakish grin. “He is OUR son after all. He’ll be a legacy member.”
Robbie seemed satisfied, but not wanting to risk another question like that, Danny checked to see if the no electronics sign had been turned on yet. They were still in the clear. So he pulled out his phone and texted Michelle. “Wish u hadn’t said yes so fast.” Beep.
Michelle pulled out her phone, read the text and puzzled sent “Y?” Beep.
“Thinking about it will make it HARDER for me to sit.” Beep.
Michelle giggled and blushed a little.
“Who’s that from Mommy?” Hope asked. Her attention attracted by the beeping.
“It was from Daddy.” Robbie told his sister without looking up from his game.
Danny quickly turned off his phone and put it away. He bent down and tickled his son, “How do you know that? It could have been a ‘funny’ joke from Uncle Rick.”
“No, Mommy only giggles like that for you.”
“Busted,” Danny sighed and resolved that he better be good for the rest of the trip, his son was too observant sometimes for their own good.
(Back in California, the Santos family is out doing some shopping. Robbie is at soccer practice.)
Bill Lewis’s wedding to Lizzie Spaulding was coming up and they had to get a present. This time they were going to be flying in on a night flight two days before the wedding, so they’d have a little more time in Springfield. Michelle was looking forward to it. Going back for the Bauer BBQ had reminded her what a feeling of home Springfield always gave her and the small taste had only made her miss it more. She was looking forward to Bill’s wedding, even if he hadn’t asked her to stand up for him this time. She couldn’t wait to dance with her husband and her son at Bill’s wedding. She had a good feeling about this relationship. This was a real marriage. The one that would really last for Bill and she was glad for her friend.
Michelle was staring at the electronic screen looking at the bridal registration in the national system under Lizzie Spaulding. Page after page scrolled by. “Well, one thing is sure the same about Lizzie.”
“What’s that?” Danny asked coming up behind her carrying a tired Hope in his arms.
“Lizzie sure does love to shop.” They grinned at each other. “I think this list is even longer than the one she had when she insisted I take her to see the mall Santa when I was babysitting her. Of course that was her third trip.”
Danny watches her scroll through several more pages as Hope played with his hair. “Hey, I saved her life. Doesn’t that count as enough of a present?”
Michelle shot him a don’t-be-such-a-guy look. “Yes, that would look real classy on the card for my BEST FRIEND’s wedding. Reminder: Saved life of bride. I DON’T think so.”
“You didn’t give me any credit for doing it when it happened either,” he muttered.
Michelle did always feel bad about that. She hadn’t even apologized for accusing him of kidnapping after he saved the girls, she’d just been so mixed up in her feelings then. “Ok, you’re right. I’ll just have to think of some way to make it up to you.” She turned around and kissed him. “But later, we have to pick out something for this gift right now.”
Michelle went through another few pages of Lizzie’s list and Danny rocked back and forth from one foot to the other shifting his weight. Hope was getting heavy. He wanted to get Bill and Lizzie a present. His relationship with Bill was always a little different, but he genuinely liked Bill and while he hadn’t had too much to do with her, Lizzie had always seemed like a good kid. He wanted to get them a nice gift, but he was getting tired of standing there. Suddenly his whole face lit up with a thought. “Hey, they ARE going to be living in Springfield? Right?”
“Yeah,” Michelle said absently, her eyes still scanning the list.
“Then forget the list. I know exactly what we should get them.”
“What?” She broke concentration and turned to look at her husband.
“You’ll see.” He strode off and Michelle followed. It took him a few turns and he had to completely turn around once, but then he spotted his prize. He set down Hope, who clung sleepily to his leg. He picked up a box off the shelf and excitedly handed it to Michelle.
“An answering machine?” she questioned.
“Yeah, I remember being a newlywed.” He grinned at her. “And the worse thing was the uh, (he quickly glanced down at their daughter) inopportune interruptions. This model not only takes a message, it’s completely silent. You can’t even tell somebody is calling when it’s turned on. I’ve been looking them over and it wasn’t for needing to know about the kids I’d have bought one for us.” He looked at her.
She grinned back at him. “You’re right. It’s perfect.”
Guiding Light episode for July 13, 2009 – The Bizzie Wedding
Michelle came downstairs from tucking the kids in for the night and met Danny coming into the family room with two mugs of coffee. They snuggled down in the corner of the couch. Danny had had very specific requirements for this couch. He wanted it to be long enough so he could lay down flat on it without his feet hanging over the arm or cricking his neck. He insisted on them “test driving” this snuggle position on about 2 dozen models driving the furniture salesman crazy until he found the most comfortable. He had lived with furniture that looked good and felt awful most of his life and he wasn’t about to buy another piece of it. Then he insisted on a tan print to hide stains well and that it be Scotch Guarded within an inch of its life, for various reasons. He also wanted a table right behind the back of it for putting down things like mugs of coffee if they suddenly found they wanted their hands free for… other uses.
For a few minutes, they just enjoyed feeling so comfortable, so safe. Then Danny broke the silence, “So tell me about the wedding.”
Michelle snuggled in closer, “Well, in the first place it was lucky I went out early, they put the wrong date on the invitations.”
“What? You’re telling me the two top executives of Spaulding-Lewis didn’t catch a mess up like that. I’m glad we don’t own any of THEIR stock.”
“Ha. Ha. Well, they feel pretty stupid about it. I think we’d better give them about a year to get over it then you have my full permission to tease Bill about it without mercy.”
“Deal. So what did they do?”
“Dinah saved the day. She accidentally found out about it and called everybody and organized a wedding in the field. It kind of reminded me of our wedding at the BBQ. It was really beautiful.”
“I’m even sorrier I missed it then. I would have liked to thank Dinah again. She took a big risk when she brought me Hope that day and told me the truth. I’d just been going through the motions, trying to keep things normal as possible for Robbie and the minute I held Hope in my arms, deep down I felt this peace. I knew she’d just given me my life back, our life back. I was still so scared I’d screw it up that I almost didn’t take the chance, but down deep inside I knew it was going to be all right as soon as I felt our little girl in my arms.” Danny arched and twisted his neck to kiss her forehead.
Michelle squirmed and worked around to kiss him on the lips. “We’d never be able to mess up so badly I wouldn’t eventually get you back. You should know that by now.”
“I do know, Babe. I know.”
Michelle squirmed back around and kissed him a second time before settling back again. “It was all so beautiful I told everybody that it made me want to marry you all over again.” Her voice changed as irritation crept in. “Rick said that I’d married you 27 times already.”
“I hope you swatted him.”
“I did.” With a little triumph in her voice.
“You know this is the longest we’ve ever gone without some kind of wedding since we’ve been together. We might be getting rusty.”
“Hey” She turned around and swatted her husband.
“Seriously you told me once that you’d marry me a 1000 times. I’d marry you 1001 times, Babe. If you want to renew our vows again, I’d be there in a heartbeat.”
“Well, I’ll keep that in mind.” She said, appeased. “We could have Doris preside this time.”
“Doris… Wolfe? The woman who tried to put us both in jail for murder?”
“Well, she married Bill and Lizzie.”
“I think we can pass on that. It would be worse than having Jeffery O’Neill again.”
Their mugs abandoned to the table, she rolled over so they were face to face. “I also told Bill as happy as I was for him, he’d never be as happily married as I am. Ever.” She slowly started kissing and nuzzling against her husband.
“Darn straight!” He shot her his sexy grin before responding in kind. “The kids are probably pretty out of it with the cold medicine and….”
“Mom, Dad, Hope had a nightmare,” Robbie said walking into the family room. He couldn’t see his parents over the back of the couch, but he’d heard their voices.
Michelle stifled a moan of disappointment as she rolled off her husband and got to her feet. “Ok, we’re coming.”
Robbie continued, “I think she’s going to want to sleep in your bed tonight. She’s missed you Mom.”
“Is she the only one?” Michelle asked ruffling Robbie’s hair.
“No,” he replied softly.
“I guess maybe it should be a family bed night. Let’s go.”
She looked back to Danny and mouthed, “I’m sorry.”
“Hey, that’s why we bought a California king. Or at least one of the reasons. I’ll shut things up down here and meet you upstairs.” He lovingly watched his family walk upstairs and out of sight before he got things settled for the night and joined them.
Michelle was leaning against the glass of the sliding patio door of their deck looking up at the stars. Even in the relative dark of the moderately well to do neighborhood, the stars seemed distant here, weak and hazy, not like the view from the lighthouse observation deck back home, not like from the balcony in her and Danny’s bedroom at the Bauer house. She held her hands in front of her and she twisted her wedding ring, like she always did when she was nervous, but this was a slow twist. She wasn’t really upset, just slightly unsettled. She loved her life in California. Life in California had been good for all of them, but it still didn’t feel like home. Not really. Not like Springfield. She wanted roots. She wanted to cook in Maureen’s kitchen. She wanted to give Rick grief every day. She wanted to be able to go visit Maureen’s grave whenever she wanted to. She wanted Hope and Robbie to know what it was like to be related or almost related to half, heck most, of the town. She wanted to have one darn Thanksgiving with Danny in Springfield that didn’t totally suck! She wanted her family to move back home. The last dark horrible year that they lived there had tainted everything she loved there for awhile, just as her mother’s death had, but time had gone on and just like when she was a little girl time had healed the wounds and she could remember and see the good in the places and people again. The dark memories had receded to become just that, distant memories and while they still sometimes popped up to claim her attention at unbidden moments they were mostly crowded out by all the good memories, old and new. But had they receded that far for Danny? He’d needed this fresh start more than she had and he’d done really well here. It wasn’t fair for her to even ask him to consider giving it up, was it? And her thoughts started off on another circle always ending up in the same place, circles just like the ones she was slowly turning with her wedding ring.
“You want to move back home, don’t you?” the words came gently out of the darkness behind her. Michelle had been so caught up in the merry-go-round of her thoughts that her conscious mind hadn’t registered he was there. She knew she really shouldn’t be surprised that he knew what she was thinking, he knew her, could read her so well.
“I miss Springfield. I really do. I always thought we’d be raising the kids there.”
“Well, we’d have to look things over. See what we could do about jobs and a place to live, but if it means that much to you. We can move back.” Danny’s voice seemed neutral, noncommittal.
“That wasn’t ever the question.” Michelle moved over in the darkness to embrace her husband. “I knew you’d be willing to move back if I had my heart set on it. The question my darling husband, is what do YOU want. You’ve done so well here in California, well all of us have really, and I’m not unhappy here. It’s just that it’s not….” Michelle’s voice trailed off.
“It’s not home.” Danny finished for her. “Babe, home for me is you and the kids. It’s different for me. I started out in Chicago and I was older when we moved to Springfield and I wasn’t exactly Springfield’s sweetheart either, like you were.”
“I was not…”
“Honey, I love you. But you WERE definitely the sweetheart of the town, all the while you were growing up. That’s one of the reasons nobody could believe that you fell for me. Not that I can blame them. I couldn’t believe it for awhile myself.” He bent down and kissed her.
“But everybody came to see I was right about how wonderful you are. You would have won the mayorship if Ross hadn’t had all that money left over from the Senate run and if stupid Jeffery O’Neill hadn’t messed with the results. If I was the sweetheart, WE were the favorite couple.”
“For awhile baby.” This time Danny trailed off thinking about how everything went wrong from the moment he followed Jeffery O’Neill into that hotel room at the Beacon. He could go a lifetime without seeing that man again, but even if they moved back he probably wouldn’t have to. Jeffery was on the run from a murder rap himself and while Danny knew better than anybody that being accused of a murder in Springfield didn’t mean you actually did it, his darker half was secretly pleased that O’Neill was getting a taste of his own medicine and apparently not caring for it much.
“Michelle, we were back for the BBQ. And I didn’t burst into flames and I didn’t turn into a pillar of salt. The bad memories didn’t block all the good ones out. I can’t say I wouldn’t be sorry to leave here, but I can say that I think you want to go back much more than I don’t. I could be happy living there again, just as long as I have you and the kids. You don’t have to worry about that. We do need to have some real conversations with hard numbers first though. We’d have to decide what to do about my business and your job at the clinic. Do we sell the house or rent it? The market isn’t too great right now. What would we do for jobs back in Springfield? You know I did run into a couple of people I used to know from when I ran the club when we were back for the BBQ. Maybe I should fly back and take a few meetings. See what the situation is on the ground. Where would we live? What about the kids? Would a move right now be too hard on them? We need to discuss it with them, too. But when we’ve done all that, I think, probably, Springfield here we come.”
“Ok, serious grownup work with numbers. I can handle that. As far as where we’d live, we could stay with Rick. I have it all planned out. Rick is just rattling around in that big empty house all by himself. He’d love to have the kids there all the time. We’d have our old room.”
“Hmmmmmm. I have very fond memories of that room.” Bending down, he began nibbling on her neck.
“Would you climb up the balcony for me again?”
“It depends. What my reward would be?”
“Oh, I’ll definitely make it worth your while. Anyway, Robbie would have his old room and Hope could have Meta’s. It’s been long enough since she passed, she wouldn’t have wanted it kept as a shrine forever and I think she’d love to have Hope in there enjoying it. Have I ever told you I have THE BEST husband in the universe?”
“Yes, but I’d much rather you showed me.” Danny said huskily, he kissed her again and led her back into the house. “My favorite thing about your mother’s garden was that you couldn’t see into it from any of the neighbor’s houses, too bad we can’t say the same thing here.” (He regretfully looked around at all the lit neighbors’ windows he could see from where they stood.) I’ll lock up, you check on the kids, and we’ll meet up in our room, first one there gets first choice.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Michelle murmured, stretching up to kiss him again and leaning into him with the weight of her body to feel every inch of him. “I love you, Danny Santos.”
“I love you, too, Michelle Santos.” He kissed her one more time before regretfully pulling away from her body, “On your mark, get set, go!” He swatted her on the bottom and headed off to make his usual rounds, securing the house for the night.
Guiding Light episode from July 23, 2009 – Danny is at Company talking to Marina having talked to his local business contacts
Guiding Light episodes from Sept. 17th and all of Sept. 18th, final episodes, except the flash forward
(It’s around a week after the Santos Family has moved back to Springfield.) Hilda shows Danny into the front room/office of the Spaulding Mansion. He’s wearing a suit. Phillip is sitting at what used to be his father’s desk and he stands as Danny comes in. They shake hands and Phillip gestures for Danny to take a seat in front of him.
“Danny, I just want to tell you again how glad I am you, Michelle, and the kids moved back. Rick is a new man having his family back again.”
“Well, we’re glad to be back. And I don’t know exactly how to phrase this, but I’m really glad you didn’t die after all.”
Phillip chuckled. “Me, too. Yeah, it isn’t really an occasion Hallmark makes a card for, is it? Though maybe in this town it should be.” Phillip chuckled again at his own joke.
“And I’m sorry about your father.”
Phillip sobered. “So am I. In fact, Alan is why I asked you here today.”
“I was wondering.” Danny gave Phillip a friendly, but cautious look inviting him to continue.
“First, Danny, I want to explain a couple of things. When you worked at Spaulding, I wasn’t as welcoming as I could have been.”
“I seem to remember something like that.”
“Well, I’d like to apologize. I don’t think you quite understood my position at that time.” Phillip leaned back in his chair and then began to speak, broke off, fidgeted in his chair, and started again. He was seemed to be struggling to collect his thoughts.
“My grandfather, Brandon, was quite a piece of work. He used to pit family members against each other. He had this crazy idea that it would make them, make the family, strong. The more I learn about Alan and Alex’s childhood, it’s really a wonder they turned out as well as they did.”
“I understand.” Danny’s face had withdrawn as if behind a mask. Phillip couldn’t have picked anyone else in town, not a Spaulding, who would understand the complicated and destructive nature of Phillip’s family dynamics more.
Phillip’s eyes snapped back to Danny’s at the toneless, careful quality of Danny’s voice. “You really do, don’t you?” Phillip laughed. “You ARE one of the very few outside the family who does understand what it’s like.” He paused again, still struggling for words to express his complicated meaning. “Alan picked up from Brandon the habit of pitting his children against each other and I was the only one of his kids in town at the time you came to work for Spaulding. He truly thought a lot of you and so he pitted me against you.”
“Oh yeah, every five minutes he was rubbing it in my face, how you were a man of action, how you got your family back, how you protected your family and how I failed to protect mine.” Phillip grimaced at the still sore memory.
Danny was surprised in spite of himself and before he could stop, blurted out, “No wonder you were such a jerk. Oh.” He stopped short realizing he had said it aloud.
“No, I was, especially about the FBI sting. I got a lot more pleasure than I should have from not telling you and it did put Michelle at some risk, although I know you’d never let anything happen to her. I’ve gotten a little more perspective now and I wanted to explain and apologize.”
“That really isn’t necessary, Phillip. It was a long time ago. I accept, but you didn’t need a special meeting…”
Phillip held up a hand to stop him. “That was just the first thing we had to clear up. I have a couple other things to talk to you about.” Again he paused, then surged ahead. “Have you ever heard of Hope Bauer?”
“Of course, she’s one of Michelle’s cousins. My daughter is partially named after her.”
Phillip nodded, he was just trying to make sure everything was making sense to Danny. “Did anybody ever tell you about her marriage to Alan?”
“Yeah, I heard the story. I was told it should be an object lesson for me about what not to do.” Danny smiled at the memory and he had to admit, they’d been right. There had been a lot of similarity between the marriages and it had taken a lot of hard work for theirs not to fall permanent prey to some of the same things that did in Alan and Hope’s.
“That will make this easier to explain then. Alan seems to have really identified with you and Michelle. He always regretted how things ended with Hope. I think in some way he thought you and Michelle were living the second chance he and Hope never could seem to find. Take a look at this.” Phillip handed over a folder. “I found this when I was going through Alan’s papers.”
Danny opened the folder and of all the things he thought might be there, he wasn’t prepared for what was. Danny flipped through a record of his family’s life, news clippings, report cards, photos, ads from his business back in California, etc. “What is this?!”
“Even though he was too consumed with his own problems the last few years of his life to do much about it, he always kept a watchful eye on you. He thought that much of you.” Phillip gave Danny a minute to process. “We haven’t had the formal reading of the will yet, but he even left you a small block of Spaulding stock.”
Danny’s eyes snapped off the folder’s contents and back up to Phillip’s at this news.
“To will it out of the family, well, it shows how much he thought of you. He always said you were Spaulding material, you just didn’t realize it yet.”
Danny decided not to get upset about the folder. Alan was gone now anyway and in combination with the rest of what Phillip was saying, he decided it had only been Alan’s way of showing interest. Twisted, yes, but just the kind of thing his mother might have done to show affection, before she went totally around the bend. “I get that.”
Phillip shifted in his chair. “Alan is gone now. Alex isn’t going to be involved in day to day operations for awhile, maybe never again. Lizzie and Bill are out, at least for now and I think they’d probably go back to Lewis Construction before they came back here. James will continue in the junior capacity Alan started him in, but he’s hardly up to running the company. I’m going to take part, but I don’t think my life was saved so I could spend every day in the office. I’m going to ask back Alan-Michael and Lucy and I’m going to ask Amanda back, too, but I’d really like you to be part of the team. It would have meant a lot to Alan also. You’re a gifted businessman. You were involved recently enough and in a broad enough position that you understand a lot about the company. Rick tells me that you were planning on starting up another business here, but I know how much time that can take, running your own business, especially a start up and I know you want to spend time with Michelle and the kids. You come on board at Spaulding and I can promise you that you can get home at a decent hour almost every night and we can work your schedule around Robbie and Hope’s school stuff. Take a look at this.” Phillip handed Danny the job description, salary, and benefits for the position he was offering. “It’s a good deal, especially since you’ll have a stock block now. What do you say?” Phillip stuck out his hand. “Do we have a deal?”
Danny hesitated, “I’ll have to talk it over with Michelle, but” Danny flashed Phillip his smile and took Phillip’s offered hand. “Tentatively, we have a deal.”
“Great.” Phillip grinned back
Mindy, Phillip, Beth, and Peyton were all over at the Bauer House again. With Phillip working with Danny and Hope Santos and Peyton Spaulding becoming fast friends, they socialized a lot more since Danny, Michelle, and Mindy had moved back to Springfield. The Four Musketeers were definitely riding again and Danny and Michelle were now basically honorary Musketeers. The talk was all about Phillip and Beth’s upcoming wedding. Phillip was saying how they wanted something simple. There had been so much chaos in the last few months and Beth had said that she’d already done the Princess thing when they were married the first time, so they had been talking about following Christina and Remy’s example and having a Justice of the Peace ceremony. Danny had been waiting his chance and during a lull he signaled Phillip to follow him and slipped out the kitchen door himself.
“What’s up Danny? Something happening I should know about at Spaulding?” Phillip asked with concern, looking at the younger man who he now considered a close friend.
“No, this is definitely personal.” Danny began, a little uncertain of how to put this. “I’ve been listening to the wedding talk and I want to give you some heartfelt advice.” Danny broke off.
“Yes,” Phillip prompted.
“The last time Michelle and I got divorced, while you were, uh, gone. It really wasn’t something we wanted, we sort of let ourselves be talked into that it was what we ought to do.” Danny looked to Phillip for some understanding. And he got it, Phillip had gotten married and divorced before based on what he ought to do and he didn’t recommend it. He nodded and Danny continued. “So when we got back together, it had only been a couple of months since the divorce went through and we still felt married, so it was more like an un-divorce than a wedding, if you understand. We were undoing a legal mistake, not making a new commitment THAT had always been there. We’d just lost sight of it for a little while.” Danny ran his fingers through his hair as he always did when he felt unsure about something. “So I just arranged an un-divorce. I had Ray re-marry us right there in the kitchen.”
“The kitchen?! You couldn’t at least have it in the living room?” Phillip had clearly not heard this story before.
“Well, we spent so much of our lives in that kitchen. Michelle saved my life in there. She went into labor with Robbie in there. We, uh, celebrated my being cleared from the murder charges right there on the countertop.”
Phillip interrupted, “Too much information. Michelle may be your wife, but I still think of her as my little sister.”
Danny looked a little sheepish, he wouldn’t want to know that about Pilar either. He nodded and continued. “I gave her back my wedding ring and we almost quit on each other before we even started right over there. It just seemed right. Michelle said so too.” It had seemed to make so much sense at the time.
Phillip looked at him questioningly.
Danny went on. “So even though at the time she said how great it was and how right I was that it was just what she wanted, NOW we can be arguing about something else completely and she’ll bring up the kitchen wedding. For the rest of my life, I’m going to be hearing about it. So my advice my friend, is even if Beth says she wants something simple, small, and plain, DO NOT believe her. I’m not saying it has to be a princess fairy tale wedding, but do something nice with more than 6 guests and with you in a tux. Trust me, it will be worth it in the long run.” Danny looked relieved he had found the words to explain what he meant to his friend to head him off from a potential mistake.
Phillip nodded and took the advice to heart and in the end Phillip and Beth’s wedding was just enough grander than what Beth actually said she wanted that they were both happy.
Beth and Phillip had decided to give it a little time after Alan’s death before they got married, then came Lizzie and Bill’s Thanksgiving and finishing up their house, and after that were the holidays, so they decided to be re-married on their original anniversary, February 14th. The men of the bridal party were in tuxes and Beth wore an off-white tea length sleeveless gown with a tight bodice and a very full skirt that looked like something Audrey Hepburn might have worn. Rick and James stood up for Phillip and Mindy and Lizzie stood up for Beth. The families had so many young people that they ended up with more flower girls and ring bearers than adults. Peyton, Emma, Hope, and Lizzie’s daughter Sarah were the flower girls and Robbie, Zach and Jude (who Harley had finally been prevailed on to bring back for the occasion after many phone calls from Rick, Beth, Phillip and even Olivia) were ring bearers. Danny and Michelle were official “wranglers” for the ring bearers and flower girls, respectively. To get them all properly dressed, kept clean, neat, on time, and on task, and, in the case of the boys, kept from wrestling with each other, was a full time job.
True to her word, Alex and Fletcher came back for Phillip and Beth’s wedding. At the reception, Danny was glad everything had gone well and that he was officially relieved of his duties, now only being responsible for his own children. He looked out over the room. Hope was chasing around with the rest of the flower girls. Michelle was dancing with Robbie and Danny was thinking about going to catch Hope to dance with him, but at the moment he was just watching everybody being so happy and enjoying his children being part of the community in a way he never had been growing up or for a long time after.
Fletcher Reade walked up to him. “Hello, Danny. I wanted to introduce myself, I’m Fletcher Reade.”
“Oh right, Ben’s father.”
“I’ve wanted to talk to you for a while. That is there is something I think you should know. I don’t think anyone else has probably told you.” He smiled. “Maybe nobody else in town really knows. I was a foreign correspondent around the world for years. Plus, I was married to the love of Roger Thorpe’s life. I know trouble.” Fletcher paused again.”I was in love, I thought, with Claire when Michelle was born. I even thought Michelle was mine for awhile and later she was one of Ben’s best friends growing up so I kept an eye on her. I just wanted to tell you something about her. Rick and Ed and probably everyone else around here,” Fletcher paused to gesture around the room. “has told you that all the trouble you two have gotten into is your fault, that you brought danger into her life.” He looked Danny in the eye.
Danny wondered why he was dragging all this up now. But he only said, “Well, they’re right. I did.”
“No.” Fletcher shook his head. “Michelle Bauer was in danger on a regular basis long before she became Michelle Santos since she was born, heck since she was conceived in Beirut in the middle of a war zone. No matter who she was with Michelle would have managed to put herself in danger. That’s just the kind of person she is. She doesn’t do the sensible thing. She doesn’t play it safe. She never has. She takes risks. She trusts in people other people wouldn’t take a chance on. Heck, that’s the only reason she found you in the first place. No matter who she was with Michelle would have found some way to be in just as much danger. She’s just like her mother and Maureen was married to Ed Bauer of all people and she still got in all kinds of trouble, we were assumed dead in a terrorist attack for God’s sake. Michelle would have gotten into trouble too no matter who she with and I for one was glad when I heard you two got together because I knew you could handle whatever trouble she found. You didn’t get her into trouble, but you were always there to deal with it. Don’t let anybody else,” Fletcher stopped to gesture at the room at large again, “tell you differently.” Fletcher nodded again definitively and walked off to find Alexandra.
Danny would ponder what Fletcher had said later, but for now he went to catch his daughter. He wanted to dance with Hope and Michelle and just enjoy the day. Dark thoughts and other truths could wait to be dealt with.
Rick and Mindy’s rehearsal ran like clockwork. Mindy had designed the gowns for herself and the entire female half of the bridal party. The makeup of this second bridal party was much the same as Phillip and Beth’s bridal party had been. Beth was Mindy’s matron of honor. Phillip was Rick’s best man. Leah was added so there was an extra bridesmaid and Ed was supposed to balance the addition on the groom’s side, with Frank prepared to step up from usher and stand in if Ed and Holly got delayed. Michelle and Danny had taken Lizzie and James’s places. James had flown out to California to visit Daisy at college, so Lizzie and Bill got to be the child wranglers this time, a fact Danny and Michelle were both grateful for. Danny was also grateful that Mindy considered ease of removal when she designed a gown. He and Michelle had already had a “test run” and he thought it had come off remarkably well. Ed and Holly were due to fly back just in time for the ceremony tomorrow.
It had meant a lot to Danny that Rick had asked him to be in the wedding party. Rick had told him he was the closest thing he to a brother he had, apart from Phillip, and that he really wanted Danny to stand up for him. Danny had shaken his hand and they had hugged and he was truly proud to stand up for Rick.
Flash forward from the Sept. 18th episode
At Rick and Mindy’s wedding reception the dancing was in full force. Lizzie and Bill were dancing, so were Vanessa and Billy. Frank and Blake made quite the show. Ed and Holly were dancing with more happiness than skill, while Phillip and Beth looked like they could only see each other. The children had been dancing and running around again. Robbie’s parents, Michelle and Danny, were dancing with each other and attracting all eyes with their dancing ability (it was their second favorite physical activity after all), when Robbie Santos eased up to Sarah Randall where she was standing still for a moment watching the dancers. Suddenly overcome by an impulse brought on by her curly long hair and petite frame (like father, like son after all), Robbie reached out and kissed Sarah on the cheek. It was sweet, innocent little kiss, but it was more than that. It was a promise that life and love will continue in Springfield, just as it has for the last 72 years within sight of the Guiding Light.
Postscript: The champagne at Mindy and Rick’s wedding was delicious and that was good because Michelle wouldn’t have any more for quite a while, at least 9 months, actually.
The week after Rick’s wedding, Michelle and Danny were lying in bed, entwined together.
“My darling husband, have I ever told you life has consequences?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, do you remember when we decided we had our boy and our girl and that was enough, but you didn’t want to get a vasectomy?”
“I don’t want to start that discussion again, Michelle.” Danny groaned.
“Oh, I’m not,” Michelle purred. “I’m just reminding you of the consequences part and the pill isn’t 100 percent effective you know.”
“What do you mean? What consequences? Stop talking in riddles, Miche…..A BABY! WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY?! And I get to be here for the whole pregnancy this time?” He jumped out of bed, picked her up, and swung her around.
Michelle was delighted by his reaction. She knew he’d eventually come around to being thrilled, but she had been a little bit concerned about his initial reaction. After all they HAD agreed that two children were enough and this meant at least 18 more years before they could make love on the living room couch in the middle of the afternoon any time they wanted to. Danny had set her down and was unlocking one of their “special” drawers.
“What are you doing, sweetheart? I think we’ve already done that part.” Michelle’s seductive tone contradicted her words.
“Ha Ha. You know I think you are incredibly sexy when you’re pregnant, but I need in here for another reason. Eureka!” He held up a pair of handcuffs. “This time I’m not letting you go anywhere without me until you have this baby AND maybe not even then.”
“Oh Mr. Santos, I LOVE you and you’re not getting rid of me this time. I expect you to be there every step of the way, morning sickness, strange cravings, Lamaze classes, and all.”
He stepped back over to her and took her in his arms. “You better believe it, Baby. Always.”