Michael thoughtful Y&R
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Michael approaches Lauren from behind at Society, embraces her and purrs that he’s so happy she said yes. She laughs, “Which time?” Michael replies, “All of them.” He sits and shares that he won in court, so Lauren calls for champagne so they can toast. “You are the best prosecutor.” Michael thinks it’s funny that she should say that, since he’s been pondering the idea of quitting while he’s ahead.

They move to a table as he recaps how lucky he’s been over the years. He figures he should leave on a high note and start researching that novel he always wanted to write. Lauren can’t gauge whether or not he’s being serious and questions if he just needs a break. He mentions a feeling of contentment that usually precedes retiring from your job when Christine walks in and overhears. They invite her to join them and bring her up to speed. She thinks if Michael is actually thinking about leaving the law or even the D.A.’s office, it would truly be the end of an era.
Michael Lauren christine talk Y&R

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Michael recalls giving Christine her first legal job and they both flashback to the time when he welcomed her to Whitman, Walker and Wilson. Chris muses, “You have certainly come a long way since then.” Michael recalls that she also met the megalomaniac side of him. She fought back, dragged him to court, and won. Instead of learning his lesson he was consumed with revenge. He remembers diabolically building a trap for her, and they recall when he finally went to her for help to get reinstated to the Wisconsin bar and declaring he’d changed. Michael has given thanks every day since that Chris believed he was sincere – they even worked together since. Chris recaps that they became real friends and colleagues. Lauren asks what Chris thinks about the idea of Michael retiring.
Christine flashback Y&R

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Christine feels only Michael can decide when he’s ready to retire. Lauren recalls Michael sketching only last week – it was so good. “You could be an artist, no joke.” They decide he could excel at anything he put his mind to. Chris knew when it was time to leave the D.A. office and has no regrets. Lauren muses about work/life balance. Michael thrives on the adrenaline he gets from arguing in front of a jury. Just then, Victor happens along. Christine leaves Michael and Lauren to explain.

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Victor sits with Michael and Lauren, who explain that he’s thinking of retirement. Victor chuckles – he’d be bored out of his skull! He suggests he follow his example by stepping back but keeping one foot in the workforce. Michael and Lauren are surprised when Victor offers him a job at Newman Media. Michael worries he’d be a fixer. He admits they were a good match back in the day, but for every time they were in sync, there were also far less pleasant times. They flash to Victor shouting about Michael costing him millions of dollars and firing him. Victor wonders how he’ll channel his energy if he retires. Lauren seconds that. Victor opines that he’ll never be bored working for him.
Victor, Michael flashback Y&R

Michael is flattered by Victor’s offer, but says the conversation is premature. Victor forges ahead nonetheless, saying Michael could set his own hours and would be very well compensated. He reminds Michael they’ve learned to trust each other and flashes to them debating as Victor doled out orders, refusing to let his attorney take the rap for him. Victor exits, and Michael chuckles. The offer complicates things and he needs to get a handle on what life would be like if he’s no longer putting Genoa City’s criminals behind bars. Lauren, it turns out, has called in reinforcements.
Michael, Lauren talk Y&R

Gloria, Kevin and Chloe arrive at Society. Lauren feels Michael needed his family’s input. Michael downs his champagne in one gulp. They settle in and Lauren points out that she asked Phyllis as well, but she’s busy at work. Gloria thinks it’s wonderful that they’ve come together on short notice as a family. Talk turns to them not being a normal family and they flash to Gloria hiding her sons’ identity from John Abbott after marrying him. The memories fast-forward to Glo jumping out of a huge present at Christmas and they all share a laugh. Michael sighs that he has no place to throw stones given the mistakes he’s made – he failed Kevin as an older brother in the past. Kevin assures he’s more than made up for that as they remember Michael apologizing for leaving him behind.
Michael, Gloria, Kevin, Chloe, Lauren bubbly Y&R

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Kevin declares that Michael has stepped up for each and every one of them time and again – it’s time they supported him. Lauren explains that she called them there because Michael is at a crossroads. Michael interjects, “To retire or not to retire.” Kevin and Chloe think they answer is clear and blurt their opinions. Chloe thinks he’s ready and has nothing left to prove. Kevin worries that he won’t kick back and relax, and dreads the idea of Michael with too much time on his hands. “Get real.” Gloria feels Kevin is spot on – he’ll get on everyone’s nerves and has never been big on hobbies. They all laugh as Michael grimaces. Gloria is far too young to be the mother of a retiree so he’ll have to get some kind of job. Chloe figures there’s no wrong way he can go and tells Kevin and Gloria to stop. “We support him no matter what he decides, right?” They all file out after hugs to leave Michael alone with Lauren to think.
Gloria, Kevin, Chloe, Lauren, Michael Y&R

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Michael tells Lauren that his family made him realize that hers is the only opinion that matters to him. They reminisce about their first kiss.
Lauren, michael first kiss Y&R

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Next, they recall getting married, which was to be forever and always, and get teary. Michael ruminates that she gets him in a way that no one else does. Being a lawyer is a huge part of his identity, but the best part is what he has with her. They flash to Lauren assuring him he’ll be a good father when he was scared. Michael and Lauren feel they’re stronger now because of the challenges they face. Lauren grimaces that she almost destroyed what they built. Michael kisses her hand. “We made it because you and I were meant to be.” They think of their son, Fenmore. Lauren feels no matter what happens they’ll be okay, and Michael will be okay no matter which path he chooses.
Lauren, Michael smile Y&R

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Michael asks what he should do with the rest of his life. Lauren believes he should choose what will make him happy. Michael has already decided – he has to retire because spending more time with her will make him the happiest. Music begins playing and he stands, reaches for Lauren’s hand, and pulls her into a romantic slow dance. Michael closes his eyes and thinks back on romantic times with his wife as they circle the dance floor. They express their love – their adventure has only just started.
Michael Lauren slow dance YR

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So many memories! Look back on Michael and Lauren’s love story in the gallery below.

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