Born free?

(The ladies from the shop are fairly mobbing HENRY and LEW as they exit the police station.)

HENRY: Seems odd, doesn’t it?

LEW: What? Us goin’ free? Sounds like justice to me, mate.

HENRY: Not exactly. Officer…McHugh, I think… didn’t you notice something about him?

LEW: Other than him having the hots for Clarice?

HENRY: (poleaxed) What?

LEW: (waves him off as HENRY shakes his suddenly muddled head) Nothing. You were saying?

HENRY: Er…the officer, some things he said, did they seem…I dunno…weird to you?

LEW: Ah. You mean the accent, right? Probably Cork, or Kerry, or Tipperary, you know the type…

HENRY: That’s it!

LEW: (his turn to be perplexed) Tipperary?!

HENRY: No! What you said right there. “You know the type.” He said something like that, too. He said he assumed we were guilty because we were a mantis and a shield bug…doesn’t that seem wrong to you? I mean, I know we don’t have the best histories, what with our violence and your…well… Anyway, I just found it really strange that he would have locked us up just because of who, er…what we are!

LEW: Mate, how long you been livin’ here?

HENRY: Five years or so. Why?

LEW: I know it ain’t pleasant, but… certain bugs are treated bad because they’re…certain bugs. That’s just the way it is around here, and we’ve got to do our best to… ladies! All right! Get on, will you?

HENRY: (diplomatically) We’re very glad you helped, really, but Lew and I have to get to work… (to himself) and I’ll eventually have to talk to Cecelia…

LEW: I’d take your matters of the heart over what I’ve gotta deal with…

HENRY: Graves?

LEW: Graves. Big, useless lump… one of these days, I’ll give him his, and then–Oi! Would you lot knock it off?!

(the ladies from the shop have continued to follow close behind LEW, particularly VERA.)

LEW: Don’t you have anywhere to be?

(the ladies answer, in various ways, that no, they do not. LEW slaps an exasperated palm to his forehead and groans.)

HENRY: You’re sure the popular one, aren’t you?

LEW: Knock it off and help me, you twit.

HENRY: You want me to help you?

LEW: Yes.

HENRY: You want me to get them off your back?

LEW: Yes!

HENRY: So you can get to work this morning?

LEW: Damn it all, YES!

HENRY: All right then. (he clears his throat and addresses the mini-throng at large) Oi, ladies! Sadly, your beloved Mr. Oxford has to get to work…

(there is a general pouting and despondent sighing)

HENRY: Yes, tragic. BUT! I have been given authorization for all of you to take Mr. Oxford out on the town as soon as he gets off work!

(there is cheering and general merriment. LEW begins to bristle.)

HENRY: In fact, why don’t you all get yourselves all dressed up and meet him at the gate when he’s done working? He’s busy putting up a new hospital over on Hampton street, and he’s working hard, like a good, strong bug…

(there are a few giggles from the small crowd.)

HENRY: And I think you owe it to him to show him a fantastic evening. Sound good?

LADIES: YEAH!!!

(and so on. They almost immediately disperse, chatting animatedly. LEW fixes HENRY with a death glare the moment they are all out of sight. HENRY rolls his eyes.)

HENRY: Trust me, mate, you’ll thank me. Just go with them tonight, all right? You can’t tell me you had plans for this evening…

LEW: I did!

(HENRY gives him a look that says “and…?” LEW offers a weak excuse.

LEW: There were shows on tonight I was going to watch, is all…

HENRY: (smiles) Then catch the reruns, mate. Now get going, you don’t wanna be late again!

LEW: (eyes him suspiciously) …You’re a weird bug, Walters.

(he begins to trundle off, but HENRY can’t resist having the last word.)

HENRY: So says my best friend!

(LEW shakes his head and keeps walking. The camera stays on HENRY, still smiling, until he turns to go the opposite direction to his own job…and his face crashes.)

HENRY: (groans) Oh, blimey…

(he has a string of muddy flashbacks to the previous night: his singing and dancing, his proclamations, his secrets, his antics. It makes him blush slightly as he trudges into work, head down.)

HENRY: Eight hours, then…

(quick flash to CECELIA’s blushing and flabbergasted face.)

Cecelia…

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