At the cliff house, Steffy continued to be adamantly against Taylor's offer to turn herself in for shooting Bill; however, Taylor saw it as the only way to protect their family. Taylor believed she could handle the repercussions and said she was the only one who could stop Sheila.
Steffy tried to convince her mother that Bill would still use his power to get Sheila out of prison. Steffy said they'd all done things they weren't proud of, but it was no reason to throw away one's future. Steffy asked Taylor to promise that she wouldn't turn herself in.
Taylor reasoned that she wasn't a violent person, and she hadn't gone to Bill's to hurt him. Steffy claimed Taylor had been protecting her daughter and had acted in the heat of the moment. Taylor yelled that she'd snapped and shot someone.
Steffy tried to convince Taylor that she was a valuable caretaker, and shooting Bill had given her a rare perspective and made her more understanding, human, and compassionate. Steffy said Taylor had forgiven many people, even Sheila for shooting Taylor, and it was time for Taylor to show herself mercy. Taylor thanked Steffy, who begged Taylor not to go to the police.
Taylor decided that she needed to go home. Steffy tried to get her mother to stay, but Taylor didn't want to impose. Taylor said she loved Steffy, and watching her grow into a woman had been the best part of her life. Steffy stated that there was more to come, and Taylor left.
In Brooke's cabin, Katie still couldn't believe Brooke had kept the secret about Bill's shooting. Brooke explained that the few who'd known had agreed to silence, including Bill. Noting that Taylor had committed a major crime, Katie said Taylor had almost taken Will's father. Brooke called it terrible, but because Taylor regretted it, Brooke begged Katie not to make Taylor's burden of guilt any heavier.
Katie wondered what it had taken to pull the trigger. She understood a mother's need to protect -- but not the way Taylor had brutally snapped. Brooke claimed it hadn't been who Taylor was. Though Katie didn't think Taylor was a monster, Katie had become conflicted about Taylor. Katie reasoned that if the bullet had been a little to the left or right, Bill could be dead, and she could be raising Will alone. She said it kept playing again and again in her head.
Brooke said it could have been a tragedy. Katie responded that Taylor had gotten lucky because Bill had survived. Brooke didn't think Taylor would have been able to live with herself and barely could as it was. Katie figured it had to be hard to accept it about oneself, the ability that one could take a human life. "It's not like it was an accident," Katie quipped.
Brooke replied that Taylor hadn't been in her right mind. Katie got that Brooke was Taylor's friend and that Taylor had had some kind of episode, but for Katie, it didn't excuse what Taylor had done. Katie said she wasn't saying to put Taylor in jail, because it had happened a long time back. Brooke asserted that Bill hadn't even wanted to see that. Katie quipped that it was lovely that Bill had decided to use it as blackmail years later. Brooke insisted that the real tragedy was that it had resurfaced because of Sheila. Brooke said she wouldn't let Taylor suffer due to Sheila.
Brooke got that Katie was rattled by the news. Katie asked if it was the news that Taylor had shot Bill and had let Liam believe that he'd been the shooter for weeks. Brooke hoped that Katie's feelings were temporary and that Katie could show Taylor some grace.
Just then, Steffy arrived, saying Carmen had sent Steffy there to find Brooke. Katie left, and Steffy revealed that she was there because she was worried about her mother, who kept insisting upon confessing. Steffy said Taylor's conscience was eating away at her, and Taylor, who was alone at the beach house, felt responsible for Sheila being free. Brooke suggested Taylor move back to the cliff house, but Steffy said Taylor didn't want to be a burden.
Steffy fretted that she didn't know what to do. Brooke said Steffy was doing all she could, and Brooke would be there for Taylor and Steffy. Brooke was glad Steffy had come to Brooke. Steffy replied that she hadn't known where to turn, and she was still getting used to sharing Taylor with her new friend. Brooke said she knew what it was like to feel isolated and depressed, so they needed to make sure Taylor didn't do anything regretful.
At the beach house, Taylor experienced flashes from the night of the shooting. She pulled out a notepad and penned, "It's time for the truth to come out." As she wrote, she thought of Bill's door opening. She saw the gold gun, and she saw the gun go off. Taylor wrote that Sheila wasn't the one person whose crimes should be brought to justice. "I am the person who shot Bill Spencer," Taylor wrote. In a voice-over, the phrase, "who shot Bill Spencer..." echoed.
At Forrester, the less-than-thrilled Hope gazed at a sketch. Thomas arrived and asked her not to call security. There to offer her his services -- again -- he said he knew he wasn't welcome there, but Forrester needed him. He expressed worry about her and her suffering line.
Thomas claimed to get that Hope wasn't ready to forgive him. Hope said his act had hurt a lot of people. Remarking that his family wasn't speaking to him, he guessed his son was wondering how he could do such a thing. Hope replied that they all were. He acknowledged that he'd been wrong and mean-spirited and wished he could go back and change it.
Hope responded that Thomas had made a bad choice and was suffering the consequences. Thomas reasoned that she and the line were, too. He added that he had been busting his tail and had product-ready designs. For Hope, that was what made it tragic. She said he had endless talent but kept squandering it by doing inexcusable things.
Hope said Thomas' return wasn't her decision; it was up to Steffy and Ridge. Thomas, however, believed she could convince them to let him return to the line. Hope said she wouldn't hold her breath because Steffy and Ridge were upset with him.
Thomas noticed one of Zende and Eric's designs on the desk. Studying it, he said it was good, but the neckline was obvious. Claiming to have a lot of respect for Eric, Thomas said, "This is...uh...I mean, come on, Hope. This isn't Hope for the Future."
Reflecting on the design, Thomas said it was a neat color, elegant, and not straying from the status quo. He deemed it a Forrester creation; however, he said it wasn't Thomas Forrester. He wondered if he'd sounded too arrogant, and Hope cocked a brow, not sure he wanted an answer. He insisted that it wasn't representative of her line or her, nor did it push boundaries.
Hope quipped that Thomas was an expert at pushing boundaries. Begging to get back on the team, he offered to work off campus and be compensated only a dollar. He was eager to return her line to a time when it had been fun and exciting and had pushed boundaries.
At Forrester, Thomas and Hope were still talking about his place at the company. Thomas said that if she didn't trust him, she should trust his talent and ability to take the line to new heights. He believed that while Zende and Eric were experts, they weren't connected to the line the way Thomas and Hope were. "This is our collection. That's what makes it so special. That's what you said," he claimed, asserting that they were the best team the industry had ever seen.
Thomas implored Hope to bring him back on as lead designer. In her silence, he guessed she still had reservations. Hope said she didn't think that fact was surprising. He said he was sorry, but she replied that sorry didn't cut it. Thomas explained that he'd been trying to give his mother the life she'd always wanted. Hope replied that in the process, he'd destroyed the progress he'd made with her, his family, and his son. Thomas said he hadn't wanted Douglas involved in it.
Hope noted that Douglas had asked Thomas to tell the truth, but Thomas had encouraged Douglas to lie. Thomas claimed he'd thought a lot about it, and he been working on himself and his issues, not just waiting for things to blow over. He'd also been trying to be productive, and some of his best work had resulted from it. He said that if he returned, they could be HFTF's next collection. Hope replied that his promises didn't mean any more than his apologies.
Thomas offered to show Hope his work and the respect and admiration he had for her and his work. He stated that he wasn't all bad inside and could create something good. Hope said he'd made his desires clear, and it was only fair that she told Thomas how she felt about him.
Hope said that in her view, Thomas wanted to help, but it was self-serving. She admitted that the review had given her pause, and she'd panicked, thinking the line needed him; however, Steffy had pulled Hope back from the brink. Thomas acknowledged that Steffy was furious with him, and he added that his sister had never been as dedicated to HFTF as he was. Hope said Steffy had reminded Hope that the line had been built on honesty and integrity, and throwing those ideals out the window would damage the line more than a few bad reviews.
Thomas denied it would be seen that way and said Hope was all about giving second chances and seeing the best in people. "I need you to understand. We're done. We're not partners anymore," Hope replied. She said he shouldn't even be in the building. Guessing that Steffy was the problem, he offered to convince her to bring him back on.
Hope said Thomas had to let it go. She was done giving him fourth and fifth chances. She declared that she'd learned her lesson and couldn't give him the benefit of the doubt anymore. Hope believed the collection would eventually be just fine without him. Thomas asked if she really wanted it to be merely "just fine." He insisted that he shouldn't be shut out for something personal. Hope replied that he had many bridges to rebuild with people, including Douglas.
Thomas said that he'd wanted to call Douglas, but Thomas hadn't known what Hope would say. Hope said they would have to have difficult talks about Douglas. Thomas was ready to do that and find common ground, but Hope, who had work to do, felt she'd said all she'd wanted to say. Thomas replied that she hadn't said anything, and he urged her to say what she wanted him to do. "I want you to leave. Please," Hope replied, and he wordlessly complied.
At the beach house, the distraught Taylor read her letter in which she confessed to shooting Bill. Gazing at a picture of Steffy's family, Taylor apologized and said she'd make it right. "What happened to you...Doc?" Taylor asked her reflection in the mirror beside her.
Later, Taylor had changed into a white outfit. She thought of the conversation she'd had with Steffy earlier that night and uttered that she wouldn't be a burden to Steffy any longer.
In the letter, Taylor wrote that there was only one solution for her loved ones. "I have to end it all. Now!" she scribbled. Taylor picked up an amber bottle of pills. She tapped a few into her palm and swallowed them down with a drink.
In Brooke's cabin, Steffy reported to Brooke that Taylor thought the only way to protect her family was to confess to shooting Bill. Steffy couldn't believe she was even talking about it with Brooke, but Brooke said she'd never do anything to hurt Taylor. Steffy admitted she'd never thought she'd say that Brooke was the only person who could get through to Taylor.
Brooke disclosed that Taylor trusted her, and Steffy could, too. Steffy, unsure of how to get through to Taylor, said Taylor had the situation all wrong. In Steffy's mind, it wasn't Taylor's fault that Sheila was free. Steffy acknowledged that Taylor had made a mistake in shooting Bill, but it would be compounded if Taylor turned herself in. Steffy noted that Taylor had never been a suspect, and no one had known she'd been in town. Steffy said no evidence connected Taylor to the crime. "So, why won't she let this go?" Steffy asked, scared for her mother.
Brooke touched Steffy's arm. Steffy claimed Taylor had always been the rock in the family, and even if she was across the world, Steffy could call Taylor, who'd support them. Steffy claimed Taylor had been supporting Steffy that night at Bill's and had thought she'd been protecting Steffy. Steffy said it was her time to protect Taylor. Brooke replied that Steffy wasn't alone. Steffy insisted that Taylor would only be hurting herself if she admitted to the shooting because Bill would still get Sheila out of prison another way.
Agreeing, Brooke shared that she'd said that to Taylor. Steffy asked Brooke to say it again. Steffy said she was under the impression that Taylor was alone at the beach house, stewing. Brooke offered to check on Taylor and said she'd do all within her power to save Taylor from herself.
At the cliff house later, Finn arrived home. Steffy was glad he was there. She expressed her upset feelings about her mother, who was pulling away from her and everyone, determined to fix it herself. Steffy said she pictured Taylor at the beach house, phone in hand, ready to confess.
Finn felt that was why Taylor needed to be there with them, but Steffy said Taylor had turned her down, not wanting to be a burden. Steffy revealed that Brooke was on the way to see Taylor. Finn wondered why Brooke. Steffy said Brooke was just as worried about Taylor as they were. Finn said it was weird that Brooke and Taylor were friends. Though Steffy agreed, she believed that Taylor needed as many people in her corner as she could get. Steffy prayed that Brooke could get through to Taylor.
Outside the beach house, Brooke couldn't get an answer at Taylor's front door. Brooke shook her head when she tried the doorknob and discovered that the door was unlocked. Entering, Brooke said Taylor had to keep her door locked with Sheila on the loose.
Brooke noticed a notepad on the coffee table. She picked it up and read it to herself. In the portion Brooke read, Taylor expressed gratitude to be with her family; however, her past had had caught up to her and put her family in danger. Taylor wrote that the truth had to come out to save her family, and there was only one solution. It all had to end "now."
Next, Brooke noticed some pills on the table on a tray with mugs. She gasped and yelled Taylor's name. Brooke hurried to the bedroom and found Taylor sprawled out on the bed with her eyes closed.
At Bill's house, Sheila was setting out wine and two glasses when Deacon arrived on her doorstep in a hat and sunglasses, carrying a special delivery from Il Giardino. Yanking him inside the house, Sheila said she hadn't expected the owner to personally deliver her order.
Deacon claimed the disguise was for Bill's cameras, and her order had made it the perfect time for Deacon to check out her new digs. He removed his hat, and Sheila fluffed his hair. He quipped that the place beat prison. Happy to see Deacon, she wondered if he could stay a little.
"Are you trying to say you miss me?" Deacon asked. Sheila admitted that she missed him a little. Deacon, who missed her, too, asked where Bill was. She replied that Bill was on a long overseas conference call for work. Deacon told her that, in him, she had a captive audience.
Deacon noted that the mansion suited Sheila better than his tiny place. Sheila said Bill had made the transition easy. She called Bill kind, generous, and loving. Apologizing, she figured she was going overboard. Having enough takeout for two, she invited Deacon to stay, but he quipped that he'd lost his appetite, thinking of her and Spencer together.
Later, Sheila was out of the room, and Deacon picked up a knight from the chess set on the coffee table. Grinning, he pocketed it. Sheila returned with a beer for Deacon, who was still sickened by her and Bill. Sheila insisted that Bill was amazing and had shown her a side of himself he didn't show the world, and Bill was kind, open, loving, and gentle.
Deacon asked if he and Sheila were talking about the same person. She said Bill was different with her. She insisted she and Bill felt safe with each other and had had an amazing connection from the start. She added that Bill didn't hesitate to say he'd never been with a woman like her before. Agreeing, Deacon replied that there was no one like her.
Deacon promised to never question Sheila again -- except in matters of the heart. Sheila said he hadn't done that when she'd chosen him. Deacon stated that she was in "instalove" with the most pompous idiot on the planet. Sheila was sensing jealousy, and Deacon asked what he had to be jealous of. Sheila cited Bill's money and power, but Deacon called Bill a bully.
Sheila asserted that Bill had bullied her right out of prison. "And, my God, have you seen the man?" Sheila asked, calling Bill as "sexy as all hell." She exclaimed that he was all hers. Deacon asked if she was enjoying flaunting the relationship in his face. She replied that she didn't know he cared. "Yeah, you do," he contended.
Sheila figured that Deacon should be happy for her good fortune. Deacon acknowledged that she'd hit the jackpot and was free and no longer in his "dinky apartment above a restaurant." Asking him not to talk about the place that way, Sheila said it would always be a special spot for her. She said it had been a safe place when she'd needed it, and they'd made memories she'd never forget.
Wishing things could have been different between him and Sheila, Deacon wondered what would have happened if Bill hadn't shown his "ugly, goateed face." Sheila quipped that they'd be talking between bars if it hadn't been for Bill. Deacon wondered if she'd asked herself what was in it for Bill. Readily, Sheila said, "Me." She was a woman who wouldn't try to change Bill or leave him.
Deacon offered to be a place for Sheila to land once she figured out what Bill was about. He admonished her against giving Bill her heart because Bill didn't deserve it. "What if it's already too late?" Sheila queried. Deacon joked that Bill could at least get her a new toe. Sheila laughed, put her head on Deacon's shoulder, and said she missed him.
At the cliff house, Steffy couldn't believe that Bill's shooting was front and center in their lives again, but because of Sheila's bizarre hold on Bill, Taylor wanted to turn herself in. Finn said it couldn't happen, and Steffy stated that Brooke needed to make Taylor realize that.
Finn expressed guilt about bringing Sheila into their lives. Steffy wanted Finn and Taylor to stop blaming themselves. Steffy stated that all the work Taylor had done to get over the shooting had been undone, and it was back on the surface. Finn replied that, unlike Sheila, Taylor was a good person with a conscience. Steffy feared what Taylor would do to make it stop.
Steffy wondered if she should call her mom, but Finn asked if Steffy trusted Brooke to handle it. Steffy wasn't used to trusting Brooke, especially when it was about Taylor. Finn promised that whatever Taylor needed, he and Steffy had Taylor. Steffy expressed how grateful she was for Finn and his love and support. She couldn't imagine doing "this" without him.
At the beach house, Brooke stood in the doorway of Taylor's bedroom, yelling Taylor's name. Brooke thought of Taylor's note, which had read that Taylor would end it all "now." Brooke shook Taylor, to no available. Patting Taylor's face, she ordered Taylor to wake up. When that didn't work, Brooke splashed a glass of water in Taylor's face, and Taylor jumped with a start. "Oh, my God, Brooke! What are you doing? What are you doing?" Taylor exclaimed.
Brooke ordered Taylor to get up, so she could walk it off. Brooke exclaimed that Taylor had people who loved her -- friends, family, "me!" Brooke said Taylor couldn't just throw it all away. "What are you talking about?" Taylor yelled.
Brooke revealed that she'd seen the pill bottle and the note about ending it all. Taylor said the pills were sleep supplements, and the "it" she'd been discussing in the note was the predicament with Sheila. Taylor explained that she'd end it by confessing.
"So, you weren't really going to...?" Brooke asked. Finally getting it, Taylor insisted she'd never do that. She thanked Brooke for the water on her face. Brooke replied that she'd just been worried. Taylor stated that Brooke had no idea what that meant to Taylor. They hugged.
Later, Brooke called Steffy to let her know that everything was okay with Taylor, who hadn't gone to the police. Steffy wondered if she should join them, but Brooke instructed Steffy to spend time with her husband. Taylor ordered Steffy to listen, and Brooke ended the call.
Taylor thanked Brooke for not telling Steffy what Brooke had thought she'd walked in on. Sorry for misreading the situation, Brooke expressed worry about Taylor being in her place alone, laying shame and guilt upon herself. Brooke decided that she had the perfect solution. "Move in with me," Brooke proposed.
Brooke insisted that she was serious, but Taylor said she couldn't. Brooke asked why that was. Taylor noted that Brooke had her own life, Hope's family was in the cabin, and Taylor didn't want Brooke worrying about her. Brooke said she was worried, but she reasoned that the move would also benefit Brooke, who returned home to an empty house every day. She admitted she didn't see Hope, Liam, and the kids as much as she'd like. Brooke said it would be nice to have a roomie.
Taylor didn't know what to say. Brooke advised her to accept. Brooke said Taylor wouldn't have to see Brooke and would have her own place and a separate entrance. Brooke said it would be nice to have someone else in that big house. Taylor asked if Brooke would really open her house to Taylor.
Brooke reasoned that she and Taylor had become friends, and Taylor was going through an emotionally challenging time. Brooke offered to listen or share a dinner or two. Brooke figured they'd have fun together. Taylor said she was overwhelmed, but she thanked Brooke. Brooke stated that she'd promised to be there, and she'd meant it.
Taylor thanked Brooke again. Brooke asked if Taylor was accepting. Brooke urged Taylor to do it because it would be good for them both.
At Taylor's house, Brooke asked Taylor to say she'd move in with Brooke. Taylor asked if she'd need to move back if Ridge returned. Brooke stated that she hadn't thought about that. Taylor remarked that Brooke loved him. Citing that Taylor did, too, Brooke wondered if Taylor would prefer to be in her beach house, waiting for Ridge.
Claiming she wasn't waiting for Ridge to return, Taylor said neither of them would put their lives on hold for Ridge ever again. Brooke asked what would happen if Ridge returned with a clear head about what he wanted. Taylor stated that she was so over "what he wants," but she believed that Ridge would return to Brooke if she'd have him.
Brooke was shocked to hear it. Taylor said that it was destiny, and Brooke whispered that Taylor had said the "D" word. Brooke responded that it had once been all she'd thought about, but it was no longer that way. She didn't want to be chosen; she wanted to do the choosing, and at that moment, she was choosing to be a best friend to Taylor.
Believing a new pact was needed, Brooke said a time would arrive when the women would have men in their lives, and they needed to agree that it wouldn't be the same man. Giggling, Taylor shook Brooke's hand, but neither woman believed men would be a factor for a while. Taylor asked if Brooke would ever put her faith in a man again. Brooke didn't know what the future held. She said it used to worry her who'd be there with her to hold her and kiss her. She admitted she wasn't afraid of it anymore. Taylor said she wasn't, either.
Brooke decided to add to their pact that they'd be good role models because their daughters shouldn't be rivals. Taylor readily agreed to it. Taylor said that she needed time to think about Brooke's offer to live with her. Taylor assured Brooke that even though Taylor was alone, she wasn't lonely. She had her friendship with Brooke to see her through the toughest time in her life. Each called the other a friend. They said they'd never get sick of saying it.
In Brooke's cabin, Thomas and Douglas sketched at the dining table as Liam and Hope tensely looked on. Hope flashed Thomas a look, and he decided that it was time to go. Douglas sadly hugged Thomas, who said Douglas had left his basketball in the car.
After Douglas had gone to get the ball, Thomas thanked Liam and Hope for the visit -- the supervised visit. Liam asked if Thomas could blame them. Wanting to talk to Liam and Hope, Thomas stated that he didn't have much. He didn't have his work, family, or son; however, he needed his son. "So, that is why I had these drawn up," he said, producing paperwork.
Hope asked what Thomas had. Thomas recalled that Hope had said they'd have to make difficult decisions. He pointed out that Hope wouldn't let him spend the night with Douglas and was dictating when he could see his son. Thomas said he couldn't take it. Hope replied that it was because he didn't even have a house. He claimed he had money and could buy one.
Liam chimed in that it wasn't really the point. Thomas replied that he was grateful for Liam's efforts with Douglas, "but this is between his mother and me." Thomas reasoned that he'd been good about sharing his son with her, but it had to be more fair. He said it was why he'd had the papers drawn up, and it could be handled as early as the next day.
Hope read the papers and asked if Thomas was seriously proposing that Douglas choose where he wanted to live. Thomas asserted that Douglas could chart his own destiny. Hope noted that Douglas was a child and asked if Thomas thought Douglas could handle a monumental decision. Thomas felt that Douglas was way ahead for his age and that it was the fairest thing for him to decide his own future.
Douglas returned and asked what was going on. Thomas explained that he and Hope had some plans and were discussing how Douglas could see his father a lot more. Douglas gazed wordlessly at his father. Thomas said they'd discuss it later, and he took off.
Hope asked if it had been nice for Douglas to see his dad. The boy indicated that it had been okay. She figured that it had been hard on Douglas to move from the cabin to his grandfather's house and back to the cabin. She didn't want him to get lost in the shuffle and said it was time they discussed a way to make his living arrangements more permanent.
Noting that he'd said he'd had just an "okay" time with Thomas, Hope asked if Douglas had had at least a little bit of fun, and he affirmed it. Liam asked if Douglas understood why things were a bit weird. Douglas replied that it was because his father had wanted him to lie, and it had made Douglas sad. Hope acknowledged that it had been a tough position to be in, so it made sense that he felt that way.
Hope let Douglas know how much joy he brought to her and Liam's family and how much they loved him. Douglas smiled. She said that Douglas could be honest with them and would never hurt their feelings. Proposing a scenario to Douglas, she asked where he would want to live if he truly got to decide what was in his heart. She asked if he'd want to live there or with Thomas.
Douglas readily said he'd rather live with Hope. Hope hugged him and promised they'd work things out.
Later, Liam and Hope were alone. Hope said Douglas wanted to live with them, and it was as if Thomas was just giving Douglas to them, full custody. "Yeah, maybe," Liam skeptically said, sure Thomas had a trick up his sleeve. Hope said she'd thought that, too, but the papers seemed straightforward. She assumed Douglas would declare who he wanted to be his guardian. It would be legally binding, and they'd no longer jump through Thomas' hoops.
Liam and Hope talked about how many chances she'd given Thomas. She admitted that she'd been wrong, and it had proven that Douglas should be far away from Thomas until Thomas got the help he needed. Liam was still leery, but Hope was sure that it would change everything. It made her happy for Douglas, who could have a stable, loving home where he felt safe and secure. She said that the next day, Douglas could be theirs.
At the cliff house, Steffy and Finn returned to the house from being outside in the hot tub. They kissed, and Steffy said, "Oh, God, again?" She stated that it felt nice. She also liked Brooke being there for Taylor. Steffy's next concern was Thomas. She understood why Hope wanted nothing to do with Thomas, but Steffy said she was sure he missed his son.
Steffy and Finn agreed that Thomas had worked hard as a father. Finn said Thomas had even gotten Hope to support Douglas' stay at Eric's. Steffy believed that Thomas had been Douglas' superhero, but she feared that Douglas couldn't look at his father the same way again.
Later, Finn was rubbing Steffy's feet. He expressed his belief that it was best for Douglas to live with Hope and Liam. Steffy agreed, saying the child needed parents he could trust, and she wasn't sure Thomas could get it back with Douglas. Steffy said Thomas loved Douglas and wanted to play a role in Douglas' life.
Someone knocked on the door, and Steffy answered it to Thomas, who apologized for arriving so late. Steffy seemed irritated. Thomas asked if she'd be his witness the next morning. He explained that he'd proposed that Douglas choose whom he wanted to live with, and there would be a meeting before a judge the next day.
Finn questioned whether that was the best decision after all that had happened. Thomas acknowledged that he'd made mistakes, but he refused to let his bond with his child be broken by some little phone call. Finn didn't think Thomas got how much the "CPS" call had affected Douglas. Thomas stated that he wasn't there to ask permission. He just wanted to know if Steffy would be his witness. She agreed to it, but she told Thomas to be prepared if he got let down or lost full custody of Douglas.
In his apartment above Il Giardino, Deacon was surprised when Sheila stopped by for an unexpected visit. As Deacon helped take off Sheila's coat, Sheila said that it felt weird to be back at the apartment for the first time since she'd fled. Deacon muttered that the apartment "must seem like a shoebox now compared to Spencer's estate." Sheila smiled and replied, "It's a good thing I like shoes."
Asked why she'd dropped by, Sheila claimed she'd realized that she had forgotten a few things. Unconvinced by her response, Deacon wondered if Sheila just needed a reason to see him. Sheila laughed nervously.
Deacon thought that getting Bill to "chuck his entire life" for Sheila was quite the accomplishment. Sheila turned around to face Deacon and produced a metallic knight piece from a chessboard. She remarked that Bill had once had a similar piece. "Oops," Deacon replied with a chuckle.
As she sat down in a nearby chair, Sheila told Deacon that she and Bill truly shared a connection and understood each other. Deacon kneeled before Sheila and rubbed his hand up her thigh. He claimed that he knew Sheila better than anyone. Deacon confessed that he missed Sheila, and he suggested that she missed him, too. Sheila called Deacon "sweet" but insisted that Bill was the one and only man in her life. "That meathead was your ticket out," Deacon growled as Sheila stood up and walked away.
Deacon praised Sheila as a "sexy, nine-toed genius" for seizing the opportunity to take advantage of Bill. He questioned why she was keeping up the "charade with Spencer" when she had already gotten what she wanted. Sheila claimed that it was "almost cute" that Deacon had not accepted that she had moved on. "This could be our time together to have an actual relationship out in the open," Deacon replied. He knew that Brooke and Hope wouldn't be thrilled if he were in a relationship with Sheila, but he was certain that they would come around when they saw how happy he was. Deacon told Sheila that he wanted her and asked her to tell him that she wanted him just as much.
In Judge Gomez's chambers, Hope offered Douglas some words of encouragement and comfort as they prepared for the hearing. She told the boy that if things became too much for him, they could stop the hearing at any time. Thomas and Steffy arrived a short time later. Douglas greeted his father with a smile. Thomas explained that Steffy was there as his witness. Liam indicated that he was there as Hope's witness.
Thomas asked if Douglas understood the purpose of the hearing. Douglas worried that his decision might hurt someone's feelings. Hope explained that she and Thomas would be okay with whatever decision Douglas made. Douglas smiled and announced that he was ready.
Liam noted that Douglas would be making a decision that was about more than just where he wanted to live. Hope noted that "parental rights" were also being decided, something that Thomas explained as one of Douglas' parents being "more involved on the day-to-day things."
Judge Gomez entered the room and introduced herself. The judge reviewed the documents before her. While they waited, Hope thanked Steffy for taking time out to be at the hearing. Steffy assured Hope that she was more than happy to be there. Hope told Steffy that Thomas might need some "sisterly support" in the wake of the hearing.
Judge Gomez called everyone to order and asked that Douglas sit in a chair beside her desk. The judge said that it was unusual, though not uncommon, to allow a child to decide custody. The judge told Douglas that Hope and Thomas loved him so much that they had decided to put aside their own wishes to allow Douglas to make his own decision.
The judge gave Thomas the first opportunity to speak. Thomas called Douglas "the best kid" and admitted that he sometimes questioned how he had given life to someone like Douglas. Thomas reiterated that he and Hope would accept whatever choice Douglas made. However, on a personal note, Thomas confessed that he really hoped Douglas would choose him.
Thomas shared that after Caroline's death, he had been very thankful that Hope had stepped in to fill that void. "Giving you a mother...that was never meant to mean me giving up as a father," Thomas said softly. Thomas announced that he had been looking at homes for him and Douglas.
Next, it was Hope's turn to speak. Hope echoed much of what Thomas had said. However, she differed in her belief about where Douglas should live. Fighting back tears, Hope said she hoped Douglas would choose to live with her, Liam, and Beth in a place where he was "loved unconditionally and supported and where trust [had] already been earned."
Hope said that she understood how important it was for a father to be a part of a child's life, particularly because she had not had her father in her life growing up. Hope vowed to make sure that Thomas was part of Douglas' life.
Judge Gomez thanked Thomas and Hope for being dedicated parents. She then asked Douglas if he had made his decision. Douglas was silent for several long moments as he looked around the room. Eventually, he announced that he had. The judge announced that Douglas' decision would be "official and binding." The judge handed Douglas a pen and asked that he write his decision on the notepad she had placed before him. Douglas turned and looked at Hope. He then took at Thomas before bowing his head and slowly turning around.
Douglas wrote something on the piece of paper and pushed it toward the judge. Judge Gomez called Douglas a "very brave young man." The judge then turned her attention to Hope and Thomas and reminded them both that they had pledged to honor Douglas' decision and to be supportive of that decision. The judge looked down at the notepad, and a look of confusion swept across her face.
Thomas rose to his feet and asked what Douglas had written. The judge passed the notepad to Thomas. Thomas read what was on the paper and had an equally perplexed expression emerge on his face. Hope rose and walked over to Thomas. When Thomas showed her the paper, Hope looked devastated.
Douglas slowly walked over to Steffy and said, "I wrote your name, Aunt Steffy." Steffy's eyes widened as she looked to Thomas and Hope. "I want to live with you. Will you have me?" Douglas asked.