Avery stopped by the Abbott mansion to share some news with Phyllis and Jack. Phyllis marveled that someone was actually giving her information, and Avery announced that she and Dylan were engaged. Jack proclaimed that it was terrific news, and Avery nervously rambled that she and Dylan hadn't set a date or made a big announcement. Phyllis asked why not, and Avery swore she wasn't trying to steal Phyllis' thunder. Phyllis wondered if Avery had expected her to think that.
Jack reasoned that Phyllis had been through a difficult recovery and that her reactions had been unpredictable. Phyllis admitted she'd been all over the place emotionally, but she thought it wasn't right that Avery was practically apologizing for getting engaged. Phyllis said she was incredibly happy, and she acknowledged that Avery had loved Dylan for many years. Phyllis added that Avery's ex sounded like a jerk, but she knew Dylan wasn't one, and she wanted to hear when good things happened to Avery.
Phyllis hugged Avery, and Jack wished the couple the best with their engagement. He kissed Phyllis goodbye and headed out, and Phyllis grabbed Avery's hand to examine the ring. Phyllis asked for all the details, but Avery said she had to get to work. Phyllis peppered her with questions about Faith's custody case, and she volunteered to testify against Sharon. Avery refused to disclose any information, and the sisters agreed to enjoy their respective engagements.
Later, Jack returned home, and he commended Phyllis for how she'd handled the news of Avery's engagement. Phyllis was appreciative but somewhat offended, and Jack swore it had been a compliment, but Phyllis asked why she should get extra points for not flipping out because her sister was happy. Phyllis conceded that she had gone off the rails by trying to annihilate Kelly, and Jack said they'd agreed to put it behind them. Phyllis reserved the right to go off on people who messed with her family, but she agreed to keep the past in the past as long as Kelly stayed away.
At Crimson Lights, Dylan noted that Sharon looked jumpy, and she confided that she'd been nervous Nick or Avery would be there. Dylan offered Sharon some free coffee, and she was surprised he was being that nice, but he reminded her they were friends. He said he'd made a lot of mistakes, so he wasn't in a position to point fingers, and Sharon called him her role model. She reiterated that she regretted what she'd done, but she lamented that she had to fight for shared custody of her daughter.
Dylan commended Sharon for doing what she had to do to get her life back, and she worried that people wouldn't approve of him giving her a pep talk, but he told her just to focus on being a good mom. She pointed out that she was at odds with Dylan's brother and girlfriend, but Dylan contended that he wouldn't be the man Avery expected him to be if he let his friends down. He asserted that what Sharon had done wasn't everything she was, and he knew it was a priority for both her and Nick to be good parents, so they had to figure it out for Faith's sake.
Sharon wanted Faith to have both parents, but she believed Nick was too hurt and angry to work something out. Dylan suggested they use a mediator, and Sharon mentioned that she'd asked Noah to help. She said that her attorney wanted her to fight dirty, since she might never have unsupervised visits with Faith again if the Newmans threw their weight around, but she knew that Faith was clever enough to understand what was going on. Dylan insisted that Sharon was a great mom, and he said she could prove she was capable and employed, but Sharon reported that Phyllis had fired her. Dylan pointed out that Jack had hired Sharon, and he urged her to get her job back.
Sharon said she had been the reason Jack had thought he'd had a daughter who he'd since lost, and Dylan asked if Jack hadn't ever made a mistake. Dylan called Jack a good guy, and he argued that Sharon had been good at her job, but Sharon fretted that she'd be asking for a favor from a man she'd hurt. She wondered if the judge might prefer to see her as a stay-at-home mom, but Dylan asserted that she didn't deserve to lose everything she had, and he implored her to request her job back.
Hilary and Neil entered the coffeehouse, and she told him he was doing great. She commented that he didn't need her, and he countered that his walking stick was one thing, but she was something else entirely. She observed that he was moving with confidence, and she wondered if that was how he felt. He insisted he was good, and he cheerfully questioned why he wouldn't be. Devon spotted them and locked eyes with Hilary.
Neil realized that Devon was there, and Devon asked how Neil knew. Hilary declared that Neil was on top of his game, and Neil boasted that he'd been mastering a new skill every day. Neil swore things were good with him, but Hilary pointed out he'd hoped to have his sight back already. Neil cracked a joke about his keen sense of smell, and he asked if Devon was smiling. Hilary said Neil always made her laugh, and Neil called her a great catch and offered to show Devon how to pick the right woman.
Neil left to see Lily at the club, and Hilary asked if Devon knew why Lily had summoned Neil, but Devon had no idea. He suggested that they just enjoy one another, since they didn't get to spend much time together, but Hilary coolly replied that she had to get to the office. He whispered that he'd dreamed about them falling asleep in one another's arms, but she figured he'd be dreaming about Gwen. Devon incredulously asked whether Hilary was jealous of the woman she'd hand-picked to pose as his girlfriend, and Hilary huffed that she didn't care what Devon did. He suspected she did, just like he cared that she went to bed with his father every night.
Hilary conceded that she had no business being jealous, but it bothered her that Devon could kiss any woman he wanted in public except her. Devon replied that seeing Hilary with Neil was even worse, but he didn't know what else they could do. Hilary reiterated that Devon knew how things had to be, and Devon said he didn't have to like the fact that she went home to Neil every night, but he was happy for every second he got to spend with her. Hilary warned that he couldn't punish her every time he saw her with Neil, and he acknowledged that he wanted what he couldn't have. She said all they had was that moment, and they left together.
In the Athletic Club office, Kelly went over details for the party with Joe, who wanted to be sure the event impressed the movers and shakers of Genoa City. Lily argued that a few drinks wouldn't get people to side with him over Dylan, but Joe countered that the project was about revitalization, not the coffeehouse. Lily coldly stated that Joe didn't have to polish his pitch on her, and Joe realized that the project truly upset her. He offered to move the bash to a different venue.
Kelly protested that she'd already accomplished a lot to prepare for the party, and she whined that she had nothing else to focus on. Joe praised Kelly's excellent work, and he promised to recommend Kelly's services for a less controversial event, but Kelly was adamant that the club could handle it. Lily swore it was fine for the club to host the event, and Joe asked if she'd be biting her tongue the whole time. He insisted that he wasn't a bad guy, but Lily countered that he was backing a bad project, and he vowed to prove he was one of the good guys.
After Joe left, Lily groused that he always seemed to be working an angle, and she huffed that he'd acted like he'd be doing her a favor by taking his business elsewhere. Lily was insulted by his flirting and game-playing, and she mentioned that Cane had advised her not to take it personally, but she felt slimy just being around Joe. Kelly said she hated men who oozed charm, and Lily said she was sorry Jack had hurt Kelly. Lily pointed out that Kelly still hadn't told her what had happened with Phyllis, and she assumed Phyllis had pushed Kelly's buttons. Kelly confessed that she'd wanted Phyllis to hurt as much as she did, but the difference was that Phyllis had Jack, and Kelly was on her own.
Jack arrived at the Athletic Club and ran into Kelly, who tersely wished him a good morning. He noted that they were bound to see one another, and they had to figure out a way to deal with it, but she snapped that it wouldn't be a problem as long as Phyllis wasn't there. Jack defended that Phyllis had lost a year of her life, and Kelly spat that she understood loss. Jack tried to explain Phyllis' behavior, but Kelly contended that spending a year asleep had given Phyllis an excuse to be "even a bigger bitch" than she had been before.
Jack understood Kelly was angry, but he said he'd never known her to be cruel. Kelly couldn't believe that her behavior wasn't living up his to standards, when everything Phyllis had done had been over the top. He called Phyllis passionate and intense, but he maintained that she'd been rendered comatose for a year, and Phyllis wasn't the bad guy -- he was. Kelly asserted that Phyllis was a bully, but Kelly wasn't a victim, and she wouldn't back down if Phyllis went after her again.
In the office, Lily voiced her concern to Neil that he'd been trying too hard to seem okay. She worried that if he didn't open up, he'd start drinking again, and she asked if she was out of line. Neil recognized he was an alcoholic and always would be, and he admitted that he was tired of Braille and walking canes. He explained that sometimes, it felt as if drinking was the only answer, and although it wouldn't restore his eyesight, it would take away the pain for a few minutes. Lily quietly begged him not to start again, and he pointed out that she'd wanted the truth.
Lily assured Neil that he had a lot of people who loved him, including a little boy who wanted his daddy to read to him. Neil said Moses had been a big reason he hadn't reached for that first drink, and she asked how tired Neil was of learning Braille, since she had a surprise for him. She informed him that she'd ordered books in Braille for Neil to read to Moses, and she handed him one and asked if he wanted to give it a try. Neil read the book aloud, and Lily praised the progress he'd made. He confessed that he'd been having trouble with Braille, but he'd known the story like the back of his hand, since he'd read it a million times to the twins. Lily apologized for pushing the books on him.
Neil promised that he would try harder, and she offered him another book. She imagined he didn't know The Squishy Meatball by heart, and she urged him to give it a try. Neil struggled to figure out the words, and he joked that "quishled" wasn't a word. After he finished the story, he thought Moses would like the book, and he realized that Lily had fallen asleep on his shoulder. He lovingly touched her face.
Sharon stopped by to see Jack at Jabot, but she was disappointed when she found Phyllis in his office. Phyllis cattily asked whether Sharon was there with a DNA test that said Mariah was Jack's kid, and Sharon said she'd be back later, but Phyllis reminded Sharon that she was no longer an employee. Sharon asserted that Jack had hired her, so he was the only one who could fire her, but Phyllis haughtily stated that she was his fiancée, and she snarled that Jack would never side with Sharon over her.
Sharon said it wasn't about taking sides, and she had done her job well. Phyllis asked if Sharon really thought Jack would forgive her for what she'd done to him, Summer, and Nick, and she growled that no one ever would. Sharon countered that Phyllis was only speaking for herself, since most people had a heart and common decency, whereas Phyllis went on judging others and ignoring what she herself had done. Sharon suggested that Phyllis look at herself before she condemned Sharon.
Over the phone at Baldwin/Clark, Avery told Sharon's doctor to expect a subpoena for the electroconvulsive therapy records, and Joe walked in and observed that Avery's brow still twitched when she got worked up. He recalled that he had caused it to happen when they'd been married, but it had ended up working out well for both of them. She testily reprimanded him, and he announced that he was there to tell her that she was making a mistake by marrying Dylan.
Avery chided Joe for disrupting her work, and he replied that he was there to deliver a party invitation to Michael. Avery barked that he should make an appointment with their assistant, and he pointed out that she hadn't addressed his comment about marrying Dylan. She snapped that she didn't care what he thought, but Joe questioned the timing of Dylan's proposal. Joe guessed that the ring didn't represent an eternal bond, and it really had everything to do with Joe.
Avery ranted that Joe had reached an epic level of self-importance, since her engagement was about many things other than him, but Joe opined that Dylan had wanted to stake a claim because Joe was back in her life. Avery protested that Joe had simply moved there, but he noted they had history. She argued that she and Dylan had built something real and honest together that had nothing to do with Joe, but Joe maintained that his presence mattered to Dylan. Joe left as Dylan entered, and Avery relayed that Joe thought he had been the reason Dylan had proposed. She silenced Dylan's protests and declared that she was confident she knew Dylan, but she wasn't sure she knew Joe anymore.
Michael awakened and found Lauren on the couch with her laptop computer, and she informed him she'd been researching prostate cancer treatments all night. Michael reminded her that Dr. Larson had warned that the Internet wasn't their friend, and she added that she'd researched how cancer affected families, especially adult children. Michael objected to telling Fen about the cancer, and Lauren questioned whether Michael expected to pretend he was fine. Michael argued that Fen had left a life of chaos behind, and he imagined that Fen would want to be home if he knew about Michael's illness.
Lauren asked if Michael anticipated lying through text messages and calls, and he clarified that he'd just omit certain information. She encouraged Michael to tell Fen over the holidays, but Michael was adamant that their Christmas be wonderful and drama-free. Lauren handed Michael a list of questions for his oncologist, and she said she was glad they were going to the doctor as a couple. She envisioned getting some real answers to decide what to do next, but after she went to get dressed, Michael tossed the list aside.
After the appointment, Michael and Lauren returned home, overwhelmed with information. She recommended that they split doing the research, and he grumbled that in addition to chemotherapy and radiation, there were three different types of hormone therapy to consider. Lauren said they'd learned that a combination of treatments could be more productive, but Michael scoffed at the idea of them being therapeutic because of all the potential side effects. She suggested they talk to a patient in remission, but Michael wanted to get a second opinion. He prepared to go to the office in an effort to have his old life back for a few hours.
Lauren pushed for Michael to seek out a second opinion instead of going to work, but he replied that he needed to make the big bucks. He said he could start researching doctors from the office, but she complained that he might not get an appointment until after the holidays if he waited. Lauren recalled that Dr. Larson wanted him to decide on a treatment option as soon as possible, but Michael countered that he might end up choosing a different oncologist. She stressed the need to start treatment right away, and he asked whether she thought that would make everything better. He pondered what would happen if the treatment prevented him from ever being a real husband to her again.
Lauren pledged her love to Michael, and she said making love to him was wonderful, but it wasn't all they were or all they had. She continued that she needed his wit and humor, and she insisted that he needed to get the treatments because Fen, Scotty, and Kevin needed him. Michael pointed out that the treatments might not even work, but he thought telling Fen the truth would ruin their son's life.
Michael imagined being dependent on Lauren for the sordid details of daily life, and it would rip every ounce of romance away until he became a thing she'd have to look after, not the man she'd once loved. Lauren ordered Michael to stop acting like he'd lost everything when it hadn't happened yet, and she vowed to stand by him, no matter what. He replied that the last time things had gotten tough, she hadn't stood by him -- she'd slept with another man.