At the Horton house, Jennifer helped J.J. set up the Christmas tree he had just purchased. She then rushed off to the attic to get the decorations for it, excitedly predicting that with Abigail set to reveal herself to Chad that night, they were about to have the best Christmas ever. Meanwhile, J.J. placed a phone call to someone and, with a bit of effort, managed to secure a last-minute Christmas gift for Gabi.
Later, as J.J. was passing the Brady Pub on his way to pick up the gift, he ran into Lani, who had just returned to Salem. He wondered if she was home for the holidays. "Florida is my home now, remember?" she replied. She confirmed, however, that she was back in Salem for the holidays to spend some time with her family. "When my dad got shot, I was stuck on a case I couldn't walk away from, so now I'm here to make up for it," she added.
J.J. told Lani that although he would love to stick around and chat with her for a while, he was actually in a bit of a rush to pick up a gift for his girlfriend. He suggested that they could get together some other time, and she agreed at first but quickly changed her mind. "I should probably spend as much time as possible with my family, so we'll have to put it off until next time," she explained. She then walked away, saying goodbye with a hint of coldness that seemed to confuse him.
A short time later, Lani ran into Abe and Valerie in the town square. Valerie tried to be modest when Lani guessed that she was the doctor who had saved Abe's life, but he confirmed the suspicion. "I gotta say, it's really nice to see that my dad found someone special to be with," Lani told Valerie. Abe clarified that he and Valerie were just friends, but Lani seemed skeptical.
Meanwhile, Theo, who had entered the town square in time to hear the exchange, made his presence known, greeting Lani with a hug before returning Abe's wallet. He then pulled Lani aside and filled her in on the concerns he had about Valerie. Lani wasn't convinced that Abe needed to be protected from Valerie, but she promised that she would help Theo keep them apart if he managed to find definitive proof that Valerie was bad news.
At the DiMera mansion, Gabi stopped kissing Chad when she realized that they weren't alone. Chad turned around and found Andre standing in the doorway. "What is the matter with you? How can you be so reckless?" Andre demanded to know, insisting that what Chad had been doing with Gabi was totally unacceptable. "Nobody cares what you think!" Chad angrily countered before ordering Andre to leave, reminding him once again that the mansion was no longer his home. "I just -- you don't --" Andre tried to explain. "Go!" Chad interrupted.
After Andre left, Chad started to complain to Gabi about the way he had just been lectured, but she admitted that she understood why Andre had gotten upset when he had caught them kissing. "He's worried about your image. I'm an ex-con," she explained. Realizing that was why Gabi had decided to quit working for him, Chad started to rush off to find and confront Andre, but she stopped him. "Okay, you're right. I'm gonna deal with that later. Right now, you and I, we're gonna finish this. You and I, we're gonna...deal with us," he insisted.
"I'm sorry I'm not sorry, but I don't regret kissing you. I wanted to do it," Chad admitted. "Me, too," Gabi replied. He continued that he hadn't been able to stop thinking about her since the first time he had kissed her. He acknowledged that the situation was complicated because of J.J. and Abigail. He insisted, however, that he didn't want to feel obligated to love a ghost for the rest of his life.
"But the timing..." Chad added. Gabi understood his concern but assured him that she hadn't sought him out just because she had fought with J.J. earlier that night. "Okay, but I know how much you -- you know, you love J.J., and feelings like that don't disappear overnight. And besides, I've got my own issues," he pointed out.
Gabi countered that it might be time for her and Chad to stop throwing up roadblocks and accept the fact that their feelings for each other weren't going to just go away. He confirmed that he was willing to have a serious conversation with her about those feelings, but he was somewhat surprised when she suggested starting right away.
Gabi outlined her issues with J.J. and admitted that although she wasn't sure he was cheating on her again, she was certain that he was hiding something from her again, and she had finally realized that he was just the kind of guy who could never fully be trusted. She stressed that she'd had happy times with J.J. but added, "It felt like we were always trying to work on something, like we were trying to be this perfect thing, or we were just trying to check if we were connecting." She continued that being around Chad and having conversations with him had always felt much easier.
Chad understood what Gabi meant, admitting that she made him feel young again. He added that his relationship with her lacked the drama that had surrounded his relationship with Abigail. He wanted to kiss her again but didn't want to take advantage of her while she was in a vulnerable state, so he suggested that they could take things slowly. She agreed, but when he tried to find out just how slowly she wanted to take things, she initiated a passionate kiss herself. Meanwhile, J.J. paused outside the Brady Pub to inspect the gift he had just picked up for Gabi -- a custom ornament for the Horton Christmas tree.
Andre found Abigail sobbing at her memorial site. She admitted that it had hurt to see Chad kissing another woman. She insisted, however, that she wasn't going to let it destroy her. Andre assumed that meant she planned to fight for Chad, but she clarified that she thought it would be best for him to move on with Gabi. "You're misinterpreting what happened. [It was just] a momentary weakness by a lonely man who misses you terribly," Andre argued. Unconvinced, Abigail thanked him for everything he had done for her then rushed off in tears after reiterating that she planned to stay dead so Chad could have happiness with Gabi.
When Abigail returned home and told Jennifer about what had happened, Jennifer insisted that there had to be a reasonable explanation because J.J. and Gabi had worked things out and were back together. "Then J.J.'s about to find out what it's like to be the one who's being cheated on," Abigail replied between sobs.
Outraged, Jennifer wondered why Chad had done such a thing. "Mom, he didn't even do anything wrong. I'm dead!" Abigail pointed out. She revealed that she planned to move back in with Laura, insisting that she never should have returned to Salem in the first place. "You and J.J., you can come, and you can visit, but you just gotta keep everything secret, okay?" she added. She told Jennifer not to cry for her, stressing, "This is what I want. I love Chad -- God, I love that man so much -- and this is what I want to do [for him and Thomas]." However, she soon broke down in Jennifer's arms.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Nicole told Deimos that she was going to surprise Chloe with a visit, having figured out where to find her with some help from Parker. Deimos wanted to accompany Nicole, but she insisted that wasn't a good idea. He conceded the point and started to say goodbye to her, noticing, in the process, that she had removed her engagement ring. "I thought it was time," she explained, adding that she knew Daniel would want her to stop living in the past and find happiness with someone else. Deimos was pleased to hear that she was happy with him.
As Nicole was putting on her jacket, Brady joined her and Deimos in the foyer. When he learned that she was on her way to Chicago to see Chloe, he tried to arrange to be present during the meeting, offering to drive her there because a snowstorm was headed that way. She declined, assuring him that she would be fine. After she left, he wondered if Deimos was as concerned about the meeting as he was. "What do you think? She's going off to see Chloe, totally unaware that the woman is carrying her and Daniel's baby. Who knows what the hell she's gonna tell her!" Deimos fretted. Brady hoped Deimos wasn't planning to do anything rash.
Later, Victor found Deimos sitting alone in the living room. "I've seen that look before. It says something very sharp, very clear -- you're considering killing someone," Victor guessed. Deimos admitted that he had been thinking about Chloe. Victor reported that Deimos wasn't the first person who'd ever had dark thoughts about her. "I was just thinking that maybe after this baby is born --" Deimos started to explain, but Victor interrupted, insisting that he didn't want to hear the rest. After Victor left the room, Deimos muttered, "There is a price to pay for what you've done, Chloe. Yes, indeed."
Philip met with Chloe at a café in Chicago. When she observed that he looked like he had just been dragged under a bus, he explained that someone had kidnapped and drugged him. He thought Deimos was the culprit but couldn't remember enough to be certain. "My mind's blank. Whenever I try to remember anything, I get nothing but this -- this -- this -- this feeling," he explained.
Chloe wondered what kind of feeling Philip was talking about. "[The feeling that] maybe Deimos knows you're carrying Daniel and Nicole's baby," he replied. She wondered how Deimos could have possibly figured that out. "[This] just proves my point. That Nicole would hook up with him -- that she would choose to be with someone who would kidnap and drug his own nephew... It just drives me nuts that she's so blind to see what he's capable of. As long as she's with Deimos, there's no way that she can have this baby," she added.
"Chloe...it's hers," Philip pointed out. He added, however, that if she was truly determined to keep the baby away from Nicole and Deimos, he would do whatever he had to do to help her -- including running away with her and Parker -- because he loved her. "Thank you," she replied, prompting him to joke that he had been hoping for that exact response. "I'm sorry. I can't lie to you, Philip. I really do care about you -- I do -- and God knows we have a history, but...the way that I feel right now for you...isn't love. And I can't run away with you. If I did, I would just -- I would be taking advantage, and I'd be selfish, and I won't do that to you," she explained.
Philip sighed and thanked Chloe for being honest with him. She said she was sorry, and he replied that he was, too. He excused himself after wishing her luck with the baby, explaining that he had lost his appetite. "If you ever need me for anything, you have my number, and if I see that it's you, I'll always answer," he stressed before giving her a hug. She fought back tears as she watched him walk away. Later, as she was preparing to leave the café, Nicole approached her and yelled, "Surprise!"
"What are you doing here? What the hell do you know?" Chloe asked worriedly.
Philip fights Deimos
At the Kiriakis mansion, Philip walked into the living room and attacked Deimos. The two men struggled with one another, wrestling around the room. When Victor shuffled into the room, he called out to the two of them to stop fighting. The men pulled apart. Furious, Philip yelled that Deimos had hired a goon to kidnap and drug him. Deimos denied the accusation.
Philip argued that Deimos had not changed, and he was the only one that saw it. Philip said he was thrilled that Deimos had not fathered Chloe's baby because Deimos would be a horrible father. Philip appealed to Victor for support against Deimos. Victor asked for proof. Frustrated, Philip said he was not going to bother offering evidence because Deimos would "slither" out of the blame anyway. Philip announced that he was "done with the family" and intended to leave Salem.
After Deimos left the room, Victor asked Philip if he was upset because Chloe had humiliated him. Philip winced. Victor warned Philip to be a man. Groaning, Philip said he was sick of Victor's judgment. Victor asked Philip to work for Titan somewhere else in the world, but Philip refused. Philip said he wanted to make his own way in the world without his father's help. As Philip turned to leave, Victor stopped him. Victor asked Philip not to leave angry. Philip and Victor hugged and told each other that they loved one another.
After Philip left the house, Deimos returned to the living room and found Victor staring into the fireplace. Victor said he had not been fooled by Deimos' poker face. Victor said he believed Philip. Nodding, Deimos said he had done what he had thought was best. Grunting, Victor reminded Deimos that his actions had cost Victor a son. Deimos argued that Philip's exit was temporary and that he would return in time. Victor said he was happy that Chloe was out of Philip's life, but he would tear Deimos apart if he hurt Philip again.
Adrienne sat alone in the hospital, waiting for her chemotherapy appointment. After the nurse informed Adrienne that the hospital was running behind, Adrienne texted someone and asked them to sit with her at the hospital. Frustrated from waiting, Adrienne asked the nurse if she could reschedule her appointment until after the holiday. Behind Adrienne, Kate arrived at the hospital and said that she would not let Adrienne delay treatment. Kate made a fuss, and the nurse escorted them into the treatment room. Adrienne thanked Kate for accepting her invitation.
Once Adrienne was settled in the treatment room, Kate told Adrienne that she should not fight alone. Kate cautioned Adrienne not to push away the people that loved her like Kate had done. With a knowing smile, Kate counseled that the situation was not about being tough but instead about allowing people to love and support Adrienne. When Kate told Adrienne to let people help her, Adrienne laughed and pointed out that she was letting Kate help her.
Adrienne told Kate that she genuinely liked her, and Kate said the same about Adrienne. Nervous, Adrienne asked Kate what to expect from the treatment. Kate walked Adrienne through the procedure and told her that she should always have someone with her at treatment so they could be emotional support and a backup set of ears to take in what the doctors had to say. Kate told Adrienne that people wanted to support her. Right on cue, Lucas walked into the room with flowers.
Concerned by the presence of his mother, Lucas asked Adrienne if Kate was bothering her. Adrienne laughed. Adrienne informed Lucas that Kate had been a great help and comfort to her. Lucas started to leave, but Adrienne asked him to stay. Kate chimed in that Lucas had been a great comfort to her during her treatment for lung cancer. With a gasp, Kate remembered that she needed to cancel a dinner date. Adrienne encouraged Kate to keep her date. Smiling at Lucas, Adrienne said she was fine.
After Kate left, Lucas suggested that he would drive Adrienne home after the chemotherapy, and they could have a night in together. Adrienne said she thought she would be too tired. With a nod, Lucas agreed that Adrienne should rest. Lucas offered to play cribbage with Adrienne, and she chuckled. Adrienne declined, noting that she was too distracted to beat Lucas at the game.
When Lucas asked about Kate, Adrienne explained, "People can surprise you. Move you. They can show a side to themselves that you never knew was there." Adrienne told Lucas that she was happy he had surprised her at the hospital, and she kissed him. Lucas made Adrienne laugh, and he sat by her side until she fell asleep.
After leaving the hospital, Kate met up with Eduardo for a dinner date at the Brady Pub. The lovers exchanged gifts. Each had bought a scarf for the other. Wrapping a scarf around Eduardo's neck, Kate leaned in for a kiss. Eduardo pulled back as he saw Philip walk into the pub. Philip informed Kate about his plans to leave town. Kate wished him well.
Surprised by Kate's calm, Philip asked why she was not pushing him to stay. Kate said she had learned not to meddle in her children's lives. Kate said she was sorry that Chloe had hurt Philip, but she was glad that Chloe was out of his life. With a sad smile, Kate said she wanted Philip to be happy. Kate hugged her son, and they said, "I love you."
In the town square, Jade stopped by a sidewalk sale to look at the baby clothes. Jade opened her wallet then put it back in her purse. Joey saw her, and he said hello. When Joey hinted that Jade was stealing a onesie, she denied it. Angry, Jade said she did not appreciate that Joey always thought the worst about her. Jade explained that she had been sad and thinking about how she could not afford to buy any gifts.
Joey said he had been looking for Jade to see how she was feeling since being released from the hospital. Hopeful, Jade asked Joey if he cared about her. Joey said he cared about her health. Jade grumbled. Frustrated, Jade asked Joey if he loved her. When Joey avoided the question, Jade explained that she had been hopeful after they had shared a moment, staring at the sonogram, but if Joey did not want to be with her, then she wanted Joey to steer clear of her. Joey walked away.
Jade sat down at a table in the café and looked at her phone. A Santa Claus on break asked Jade if he could sit at her table. Jade nodded yes. Noting the sour look on Jade's face, Santa asked Jade if he could help cheer her up. Santa urged Jade to tell him what her Christmas wish was. As Jade took a deep breath, Joey appeared nearby and eavesdropped. Jade said that more than anything, she wanted a healthy baby. Jade added that she also wished that the father of her baby would love her.
Sensing Joey's presence, Jade turned and saw him nearby. Jade walked over to Joey and took him aside. Jade apologized for pressuring Joey. Jade added that she understood that a person could not make anyone love them, and she asked Joey to forget what he had heard her say to Santa. As Jade walked away, Santa approached Joey and told him that Jade was clearly in love with Joey.
In a café in Chicago, Chloe was alarmed to see Nicole plop down in the chair across the table from her. Chloe thought about what Philip had told her about his kidnapping and his fear that Deimos knew the truth about the baby. Nicole was disappointed that Chloe was not excited to see her. Chloe probed Nicole to see if she knew anything, but Nicole reminded Chloe that she'd known that Nicole had been on her way for a visit. Chloe sighed in relief. Nicole begged Chloe to return to Salem for the holidays.
Changing the subject, Chloe told Nicole about what had happened with Philip. Nicole suggested that Philip and Chloe would reconcile, but Chloe explained that this time was different because Philip was in love with Chloe, and she did not want to string him along. Nicole told Chloe she was sorry that Chloe and Philip's friendship had been damaged. Chloe changed the subject back to her friendship with Nicole, and Nicole agreed that she wanted to preserve her friendship with Chloe. Nicole told Chloe that she belonged in Salem and that she should move back.
Nicole said that she wanted Chloe to be happy and that Chloe was like a sister to her. Smiling, Nicole said Deimos had made her see that Chloe was family. Chloe scowled. Chloe said she could never return to Salem because of Deimos. Frustrated, Nicole pointed out that everyone had forgiven Deimos except for Chloe. Nicole told Chloe to move on from her anger. "Not after what he just pulled," Chloe blurted out.
Annoyed, Nicole said she did not want to know what Chloe had to say about Deimos. Nicole said that the topic of Deimos was off-limits. Nicole offered to stay for the evening to visit, and Chloe smiled, pleased. Nicole and Chloe both agreed that their friendship was important to them. The women hugged and told one another they loved each other.
While Chloe went to the car, Nicole called Deimos to tell him that she would be staying for the evening and would be back late. After Nicole hung up the phone, Chloe returned to the café with a startled look on her face. Chloe announced that her water had broken. Nicole rushed Chloe to the car, but the roads were blocked, forcing them to stop before they could reach the hospital. Nicole broke into a nearby building so that she and Chloe could get out of the cold. Chloe groaned as a wave of contractions started.
Chloe has a baby>
In the DiMera living room, Sonny told Chad that Adrienne's prognosis looked good. Chad offered to help with bills if needed. With a nod, Sonny thanked Chad for the offer but said that the Kiriakis family would cover everything. Sonny's phone rang. There was a problem down at the wharf, so he left to deal with it.
Andre was pacing in front of Abigail's memorial statue in the park when Abigail walked into the clearing. Abigail explained that Jennifer had begged her to stay in Salem. Andre urged Abigail to fight for Chad, but Abigail was unsure. Dismayed, Andre told Abigail that if she did not tell Chad that she was alive, he would. Abigail countered that she would tell Chad that Andre had helped her fake her death, turning Chad against Andre permanently.
"I thought we'd had an arrangement?" Andre asked. "That arrangement went away as soon as you started threatening to tell Chad about me. Do you really want him to know you paid off all those people to swear I died in a plane crash? And then you watched him grieve. You watched him grieve for me, and you didn't even say a word," Abigail said.
Andre appealed to Abigail, saying that he, Abigail, and Thomas were all the family that Chad had left. Shaking her head no, Abigail said that Chad had Gabi to support him and that he did not need Andre or her. Grinning with admiration, Andre accused Abigail of blackmailing him.
A jeweler visited the DiMera mansion at Chad's request so that he could pick out a present for Gabi. After looking at the items, Chad picked out an amethyst pendant to compliment Gabi's eyes.
Down on the docks, Paul watched as a man dropped off a stack of boxes. After the man left, Paul looked at the label on the boxes and saw that it read "Club TBD." Paul knocked over a box and attempted to open it for a peek. Dario surprised Paul. Paul pretended that he had accidentally knocked over the box, but Dario remembered that Paul was a private investigator. When Paul played stupid, Dario shoved Paul against a wall and warned that he would beat Paul up if Paul did not tell the truth.
Paul shoved Dario away. Suspicious, Paul asked Dario why he was so worried about the shipping for the club. Dario said he did not need to explain anything to Paul. Dario demanded to know who had hired Paul. From behind Dario, Sonny called out that he had hired Paul. "If you have a problem, you tell me about it," Sonny said.
In the town square, Gabi talked on the phone to a store manager about opening his store for her. Smiling, Gabi explained that she wanted to buy a Christmas present for a special guy. After buying the gift, Gabi's phone rang. Excited, Gabi dug the phone out of her bag and said, "Please be Chad!" When Gabi saw J.J. on the caller ID, her face fell in disappointment.
At the Horton house, J.J. left a voicemail asking Gabi to meet him at the house for Christmas. As J.J. hung up the phone, Abigail appeared behind him and asked if the ornament he was holding was for Gabi. Smiling, J.J. nodded yes and said that it would be a great Christmas. With a sigh, Abigail told J.J. that she had failed to tell Chad the truth because she had witnessed Chad kissing another woman. J.J. asked Abigail if she knew the woman. Nodding yes, Abigail told her brother that Chad had kissed Gabi. In denial, J.J. left to find his girlfriend.
J.J. found Gabi in the town square. J.J. asked Gabi why she had been kissing Chad. When Gabi demanded to know who had told J.J., he shook his head in dismay. J.J. said he could not say who had told him about the kiss. Angry, Gabi reminded J.J. that he had said he would never keep a secret from her ever again.
"I guess this is what I get for giving another chance to a guy like you," Gabi grumbled. Gabi told J.J. that she had overheard J.J. tell his mother about a secret woman. J.J. explained that the secret had nothing to do with his relationship with Gabi. Gabi demanded details, but J.J. said he could not tell Gabi the secret. Furious, Gabi told J.J. that she was done with him.
Devastated, J.J. returned home. Abigail asked what had happened. J.J. explained that Gabi had overheard him talking to Jennifer about Abigail. Panicked, Abigail asked if Gabi knew she was alive. J.J. explained that Gabi thought J.J.'s secret meant that he had been cheating on Gabi again. Shaking his head in disbelief, J.J. announced that Gabi had dumped him. J.J. argued that Abigail was hurting him and Jennifer. J.J. pleaded with Abigail to fix the situation.
Abigail wanted to leave town because she did not think that Chad would want to be with her. As J.J. turned away, Abigail said she was sorry. Abigail said that if Gabi cared about him, she would have confronted him about the secret rather than running into Chad's arms.
In the park, Chad talked to "Abigail" about Thomas at her memorial statue. Chad assured "Abigail" that he would continue her family traditions. As Gabi walked into the clearing, Chad saw her. Gabi wiped tears from her eyes. Worried, Chad asked what was wrong. Gabi told Chad that she had broken up with J.J. Chad invited Gabi to join him and Thomas at the mansion until she needed to go to the hospital Christmas party. Smiling, Gabi said she would meet up with Chad after she visited her brother.
Gabi walked to Club TBD to talk to Dario and see the renovations. Giggling, Gabi told Dario that she loved the new look of the club. Dario spotted a present next to Gabi's purse, and he reached for it. Gabi scolded Dario and told him the gift was for Chad. Dario furrowed his brow. Dario told Gabi that he did not like Chad and that it would not work out. Suspicious, Gabi asked Dario why he was so certain that things would not work out with Chad.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad told Andre that he and Gabi had decided to date. Andre called Chad a fool. Andre argued that Chad would never be able to be more than good friends with Gabi, and Chad did not even know why that was the case. Confused, Chad cocked an eyebrow questioningly.
At the Kiriakis mansion, a worried Deimos asked Brady if he had heard from Nicole. Brady said that the snowstorm had likely snowed Nicole in at Chloe's. Deimos noted that Nicole had not returned any of his phone calls. Concerned, Deimos called her again and left a voicemail. Brady checked on the road closures and learned that most roads were shut down. Worried, Deimos wondered aloud whether Nicole was trapped in her car.
Shaking his head no, Brady reasoned aloud that Nicole was too smart to stay in her car. Brady suggested that Nicole had left her car and sought refuge if she had been stuck on the roads. Brady added that it was possible that Nicole had learned the truth about the baby and had decided to stay with Chloe to figure out what she wanted to do next. As Deimos sighed, Brady asked him if he would stay out of the situation once Nicole learned the truth. Deimos swore he would not give up Nicole without a fight.
Dario marched into the living room and demanded that either Brady or Deimos order Sonny and his P.I., Paul, to stop investigating Dario's shipments. Confused, Deimos asked Dario what he was talking about. Dario complained that he had discovered Paul attempting to look inside a box in one of his shipments. Sonny and Paul arrived as Dario ordered Deimos to keep Sonny on a leash or else he would take his business elsewhere. Sonny growled at Dario that he would not be leashed. Dario left without another word.
Angry, Deimos asked Sonny what had happened. Sonny argued that Dario would not be defensive if his business were legitimate. Nodding at Paul, Deimos said he would not discuss Titan business with Paul in the room. Deimos said he would talk to Sonny after Paul was gone.
Outside Chicago, Nicole and Chloe holed up in a hotel room, waiting out the storm. Chloe's contractions were ten minutes apart. After picking the lock of the grocery store next store, Nicole retrieved some items. Nicole's cell phone could not get a signal. As Chloe's contractions continued, Nicole timed them and noted that they were seven minutes apart. Frustrated, Chloe lamented that it would be her second baby born outside of a hospital.
Nicole reminded Chloe that she had helped with Grace's birth and that she could help Chloe through this birth. As Chloe groaned in pain, she thanked Nicole for staying calm. Nicole gathered up supplies and prepared for the birth. Chloe fretted about what would happen, and she begged Nicole to take care of Parker and the baby. Smiling, Nicole stressed that Chloe would be fine.
Near tears, Chloe said she did not deserve a friend like Nicole. Chloe confessed that she had been unfair to Nicole. Confused, Nicole asked what Chloe meant. Chloe said she could not move to Salem. Nicole offered to travel between Chicago and Salem and become "Crazy Aunt Nicole."
"You are more than crazy Aunt Nicole, you have no idea," Chloe muttered as she groaned in pain. Nicole's phone rang, and she jumped to answer it. A worried Deimos asked what had happened. Nicole explained that Chloe had gone into labor and that they had been forced to stop at "the Lakeview Inn" to ride out the storm. Nicole added that Chloe's contractions were a couple minutes apart and that they needed help. As Nicole mentioned that the inn was by a park on Lakeview Road, the phone went dead.
Nicole rushed back over to Chloe and told her that Deimos was sending help. "No!" Chloe cried out. Back in Salem, Brady called emergency services in Chicago for help. The operator said the labor was not a priority, but they would add it to the list. When the operator hung up, a frustrated Deimos and Brady agreed that they would have to handle the situation themselves.
While Brady made arrangements, Deimos sat down at the computer to search for the inn. Sonny returned and asked to talk. Deimos told Sonny that he believed Sonny's suspicions about the Hernandez business, but he did not understand why Paul was at the docks, investigating. Sonny assured Deimos that he had called off the investigation, but Paul had continued on his own. Sonny explained that he had intervened when Dario had threatened to beat Paul up.
With a nod, Deimos said Dario's presence at the Kiriakis mansion had looked like a man with something to hide. Sonny asked if Paul and John could resume their investigation, and Deimos agreed. After Sonny left, Deimos called the state police again. Brady and Deimos worked feverishly to find information about the inn online.
After searching maps, Brady found the road by the park where the inn was supposed to be. Brady made arrangements with the Department of Highways for a snowplow operator to clear a path for them to the area. Brady said he planned to ride to the inn on a snowmobile. Deimos worried aloud that Brady would waste too much time searching for the inn, so he decided to make his own plans. Deimos called about a helicopter.
In the town square, Sonny met up with Paul. Paul started to apologize for restarting the investigation, citing his desire to protect Sonny. Sonny told Paul he was right and that Deimos agreed. Sonny asked Paul to continue investigating the shipping and let Sonny know the results.
At the inn, Chloe yelled out that she did not want Deimos there at the birth. Nicole assured Chloe that Deimos could help them, but Chloe said she did not trust him after what Deimos had done to Philip. When Nicole said she did not understand, Chloe cried out that she needed to push. Nicole coached Chloe through the labor.
"You're doing great, okay? And when this is over, there are gonna be three of us in this room, and it's gonna be a miracle. A new little person, and you are gonna hold your own flesh and blood in your arms. And I know I shouldn't say this now, but I so envy you," Nicole said. Screaming through the pain, Chloe said she needed to tell Nicole something important. Before Chloe could say any more, she had another contraction and started to push again. Nicole helped Chloe deliver a little girl.
Nicole cooed over the baby as she cleaned her up. Once the baby was checked out, Nicole asked if Chloe was okay. Smiling weakly, Chloe said she was fine. Nicole told the baby that she was going to teach her about life. "Remember, jewelry is what separates us from the animals," Nicole joked as she carried the baby over to Chloe to hold. Nicole told Chloe that the baby looked just like her mother. Staring at Nicole's face, Chloe smiled faintly and said, "Yeah. She does."
Nicole told Chloe she had been brave. Chloe said she could not have had the baby without Nicole's help. When Nicole told Chloe to look at the miracle she had made, Chloe said it was not her miracle. Confused, Nicole asked what Chloe meant. Crying, Chloe said she hoped the baby would turn out like the baby's father. Chloe asked Nicole to name the baby. Nicole was taken aback. Chloe insisted and handed the baby to Nicole.
"You should name her. She's your daughter," Nicole said. "Actually, the truth," Chloe said before her face went slack and she passed out. Nicole frantically reached for her phone and begged Chloe to open her eyes. Chloe did not respond.
The Hortons continue a yearly tradition
On Christmas Eve, Rafe arranged for an after-hours visit with Hope at the prison. He presented her with a birthday cupcake, and although a guard reminded him that he wasn't allowed to light the candle, he still encouraged her to make a wish. After she complied, he gave her a gift he had cleared with the warden: an Our Lady of Guadalupe relic that had once belonged to his grandmother. He hoped it would lift her spirits whenever she felt alone in prison. Later, he received a phone call from Justin. They were hopeful that Justin was calling to give them a Christmas miracle, but he regretfully informed them that Hope's appeal had been denied.
At the Lakeview Inn, Nicole managed to contact Deimos again. She worriedly informed him that although the baby was doing just fine, the same couldn't be said for Chloe. "Just sit tight, okay? Uh, the weather in Chicago had us grounded for a while, but now that the storm has subsided somewhat, I was able to get someone to pilot a helicopter, all right? So we'll be there soon," he promised.
Shortly after Nicole ended the call, Brady burst into the room, having managed to navigate the treacherous roads and locate the hotel. As he was considering driving Chloe to the nearest hospital, the helicopter arrived to fly her there. An EMT oversaw the process to ensure that Chloe and the baby were transported safely.
Later, a doctor informed Nicole, Deimos, and Brady that Chloe had experienced a sudden increase in blood pressure due to preeclampsia -- and, unfortunately, that had caused her brain to bleed. "Are you saying she had a stroke?" Deimos asked. Nodding, the doctor added that Chloe was in a coma and that the next forty-eight hours were critical. Nicole wanted to see Chloe, but the doctor said she had to wait until the nurses finished their examination, so she went to check on the baby first.
Once the coast was clear, Deimos told Brady that they needed to let Nicole know the truth about the baby right away because the first moments of bonding time between a mother and child were crucial. Knowing that losing yet another child would be devastating for Nicole, Brady insisted that Deimos needed to first get definitive proof that his theory was correct. Deimos suggested running a DNA test, but Brady pointed out that he would need Chloe's permission to do that. "Oh, yeah, because I'm all about getting permission," Deimos dismissively replied.
Meanwhile, a nurse assured Nicole that the baby was fine. When the nurse asked for the father's name and the baby's name so she could record them both on the birth certificate, Nicole explained that she didn't know the father's name. She added that the mother had asked her to name the baby. Admitting that she was having trouble thinking of the perfect name despite the many books she had read about the topic over the years, she told the baby, "Because you're a Christmas baby, I want to name you something festive." She considered the names Noelle, Natalie, and Mary, but none of them seemed right to her. Finally, she decided, "Holly. You're Holly." She welcomed Holly to the world and told her, "Even though we just met, I love you so much."
At the Horton house, Jennifer tried to talk Abigail into staying in Salem for at least one more night, but Abigail remained determined to head to Laura's place in Boston right away. Jennifer promised to look after Thomas and regularly remind him that his mother loved him. Later, as Jennifer was telling J.J. about Abigail's abrupt departure, Doug and Julie arrived and quickly surmised that something was wrong. Jennifer claimed that she and J.J. had just been talking about how much they both missed Abigail. Julie agreed that it was going to be a difficult Christmas for many reasons.
Later, more guests began funneling into the house for the Hortons' traditional Christmas Eve gathering. Maggie informed Doug and Julie that Victor would not be in attendance because he had thrown out his back while decorating the Kiriakis Christmas tree. Chuckling, Doug guessed that Victor had just cooked up that excuse to get out of the event. Meanwhile, J.J. greeted Abe, Valerie, and Lani and offered to get each of them a drink from the kitchen. Abe and Valerie both requested eggnog, but Lani tersely declined J.J.'s offer. Outside, Abigail lurked near one of the windows and watched her loved ones for a while before slinking off.
When it was time to hang the custom ornaments on the Christmas tree, Abe started to tell Valerie about the family tradition, but she assured him that she remembered it from her time in Salem years earlier. She watched with interest as Julie placed David's ornament on the tree. Maggie sighed heavily as she chose branches for Mickey and Daniel's respective ornaments. Together, Shawn and Ciara put Bo and Hope's respective ornaments on the tree. With Lucas unable to attend the event due to Adrienne's chemotherapy appointment, Jennifer handled the placing of his ornament on the tree, along with Will's, Allie's, and Arianna's. J.J. then helped her hang Jack, Abigail, and Thomas' respective ornaments on the tree.
Later, Julie complained that Chad should have at least had the decency to drop Thomas off at the house for the event if he had been unwilling to attend it himself. Jennifer admitted that she should have insisted on having Thomas present at the gathering so it would have felt like at least part of Abigail was in attendance. Meanwhile, Ciara watched as Claire gave a thrilled Theo the baseball card he had been coveting for years. "How'd you even know I wanted this?" he asked. "Must be that psychic connection I keep telling you we have," Claire claimed. Ciara rolled her eyes and turned away as Theo leaned in to give Claire a kiss.
Claire discreetly revealed that she had also gotten Theo a listening device so they could figure out what Valerie was up to. Ciara watched with interest as Claire dropped the device in Valerie's purse while Theo created a distraction. Shawn soon approached Ciara and wondered if she and Claire had gotten into some sort of fight recently, having observed the tension between them. Ciara claimed that things between her and Claire were just fine, adding that she was actually just upset about Hope being stuck in prison during the holidays. "Doesn't feel like Christmas without her," she added with a sigh.
Doug spotted Gabi's ornament and asked J.J. about it, having been under the impression that it had gotten broken a couple years earlier. J.J. sadly explained that he had ordered a new one for her but had never gotten the chance to give it to her. "Ah. Well, do not despair, son. Believe it or not, I was [once] in your very position myself, and what seemed totally irreparable was miraculously put back together," Doug revealed. J.J. skeptically admitted that the state of his relationship with Gabi seemed pretty final, but Doug advised him, "Don't ever give up. You never know when the old tide might just turn."
At the DiMera mansion, Andre offered to explain why Chad and Gabi couldn't be together, but Chad insisted that he wasn't interested in hearing what Andre had to say about the matter. Chad also made it clear that he wasn't happy about the fact that Andre had shamed Gabi into quitting her job. Chad vowed that he would never make the mistake of trusting Andre again.
"You'll regret not hearing me out on this. Maybe not today, but soon," Andre warned Chad, who wondered if that was supposed to be some sort of threat. Shaking his head, Andre stressed that he just wanted Chad to be happy. He started to say something else then changed his mind, conceding with a sigh, "You know, you're right -- it's none of my business."
Later, after Andre left, Gabi arrived for her dinner date with Chad. When they exchanged Christmas gifts, he was amused to see that she had coincidentally picked out a pair of amethyst cuff links for him that matched the amethyst necklace he had picked out for her. Despite the sign that they were clearly on the same wavelength, she knew no one believed that their relationship would work out. "Challenge accepted," he declared with a grin of confidence. He admitted that he was glad things hadn't worked out between her and J.J. because being with her made him feel happy and excited about the future again.
Chad started to make out with Gabi, but as they were undressing, they simultaneously decided to stop things from progressing further, agreeing that they were moving too quickly. She abruptly excused herself after realizing that it was time to take Arianna to the Christmas party at the hospital. "I love you," he blurted out as he was saying goodbye to her. "I love you, too," she replied without hesitation. "Okay, good. I'm glad we settled that," he said, grinning again. After she left the mansion, she went to Abigail's memorial site and admitted, "I hope you'd be happy for Chad and me, because I've never been this happy in my entire life."
Meanwhile, back at the mansion, Chad entered the nursery and was stunned to find Abigail holding Thomas, having sneaked in through the secret tunnels to say goodbye to the boy.
Chad learns the truth about Abigail
At the Kiriakis mansion, Justin, Adrienne, and Sonny wrapped up a videoconference with Alex and the twins. Sonny then excused himself so he could join Gabi and Arianna at the hospital's annual Christmas party.
Once the coast was clear, Adrienne asked Justin if she had gone overboard with her makeup in her effort to appear normal so the boys wouldn't worry about her. He assured her that she looked beautiful but added that the boys were going to worry about her either way because they loved her. She knew they had tried their best to make it feel like any other Christmas, going through their regular routine of trading insults and making bets about which person's team would win the Super Bowl in February. "But it's not. I mean, it can't be," she added with a sigh before rushing off to the bathroom, unable to suppress her nausea any longer.
While Adrienne was gone, Justin contacted the judge who had denied Hope's appeal. The judge wasn't happy about being disturbed during the holidays, but Justin unapologetically warned that he wasn't going to drop the matter and was, in fact, prepared to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. Adrienne returned as he was ending the call. He wondered how she was feeling. "Great. Peachy," she replied with a mirthless chuckle, prompting him to concede that he had asked a stupid question. She started to excuse herself so she could head back to her hotel and get some rest, but he convinced her to stay and let him take care of her.
Justin poured Adrienne a glass of ginger ale, and they settled on the couch and began to wistfully reminisce about how chaotic and magical Christmas had always been when the boys had been younger. She wondered what he had gotten them for Christmas that year. "Oh, something very personal: gift cards," he admitted. He added that he had felt compelled to attach a special note to each one to make it feel less like he was just handing out Christmas bonuses to Titan employees.
Justin acted coy when Adrienne tried to get him to reveal the contents of the notes, prompting her to teasingly guess that he had gotten sentimental and had expressed what was in his heart for a change. "Finally, after all these years! You guys drive me nuts! You love each other so much, and the only way you can express it is by punching each other in the arm," she mused, laughing as she shook her head in confusion. "That's why moms are important. That's why...we need you," he replied.
Admitting that she had caught herself signing Alex's Christmas card with the words "Love, Mom and Dad," Adrienne mused that old habits apparently did die hard, after all. "Well, maybe next year, you'll be signing the card: 'Mom and Lucas,'" Justin replied with a hint of resignation. When she asked him not to go there, he apologized, admitting that it had simply slipped out. He assured her that he wouldn't let anything like that happen again because he just wanted to share a nice, stress-free Christmas Eve with her.
Jade arrived at the Brady Pub just as Steve, Kayla, Joey, and Roman were finishing their Christmas Eve dinner. Although everyone greeted her warmly, she quickly changed her mind about spending the holiday with them, feeling like she was intruding on a family tradition. "You're not intruding. You're family now," Kayla assured her. "Lucky you," Steve jokingly added.
Joey explained to Jade that everyone in his family always opened at least one gift on Christmas Eve before heading over to the hospital for its annual party. She felt guilty because she couldn't afford to buy any gifts herself, but he assured her that she didn't have to feel obligated to get a gift for him or anyone else. He gave her a pair of earrings, explaining, "I thought I'd get you something crystal that I didn't steal. Trying to do things differently now...'cause of the baby." She conceded that she, too, needed to change for the sake of the baby.
Meanwhile, at a nearby table, Roman feigned surprise when he received a fruitcake from Kayla. He was upset to discover that it seemed fresh. She admitted that she had thrown the old one away because it had started to morph into something other than fruitcake. He complained that their gag would stop being funny if the fruitcake changed from year to year, prompting Steve to insist that it had never been a funny gag to begin with.
Noticing that Jade had just tried on the new earrings, Kayla went to offer her a compact so she could see how they looked. Jade exclaimed that she loved them, and Kayla agreed with Joey's observation that they looked great on Jade. Roman soon called out that he had found a gift for Joey, who walked over to the other table to accept it, dryly muttering, "I wonder what it could be. Definitely not a tie."
"You know, the way you guys are with each other -- it's really sweet," Jade told Kayla, who jokingly advised her to talk to Steve sometime about the dangers of joining the Brady clan. "But, now that you are carrying Joey's baby... Nothing means more to us than family," Kayla added, reaching out to grasp Jade's hand.
Later, Joey rejoined Jade, and they watched as Kayla opened a gag gift from Steve -- a jumbo multi-tool that contained knives, screwdrivers, scissors, and more, all in various shapes and sizes -- and gave him a gag gift in return -- a rendition of "Jingle Bells" she had been practicing on a harmonica she had secretly purchased for herself. She was off-key, but he told her it had sounded pretty good, and when she pointed out that the best part about having finally revealed the surprise was that she would no longer have to hide her practice sessions from him, he tried to act like he was looking forward to hearing more of her performances.
Jade told Joey that his family was kind of weird. He agreed but admitted with a shrug that he kind of liked having a weird family. He added that they were all trying to act like it was a normal Christmas, but the truth was that they were all feeling less festive than usual because they were all worried about Adrienne and Hope.
As Dario entered the hospital with Gabi and Arianna, he voiced his concerns about the extravagant gift Gabi had received from Chad, suggestively warning that Chad was going to want certain things from her in return. She told him to drop the matter then turned her attention to the Christmas decorations, showing them off to Arianna. Sonny soon arrived and gave Arianna a warm greeting before tersely acknowledging Dario, who shot back an equally chilly response. Fed up, Gabi told Dario to either leave or start showing some Christmas spirit. "Fine. Whatever you say," he grumbled as he glared at Sonny.
Sonny asked about Gabi's necklace in an effort to change the subject. He assumed that it was from J.J., but Dario was quick to clarify that J.J. wasn't the one who had given Gabi the gift. "How do you think he's gonna feel when he sees you wearing that thing?" Dario asked Gabi, who insisted that was none of his business. She added that she had broken up with J.J. Dario tried to protest that she shouldn't have made such a rash decision before giving J.J. a chance to clear up what could have just been one big misunderstanding, but she dismissed his advice, stressing again that she wasn't interested in his take on the matter.
"You're lucky that you don't have all your brothers in the same time zone," Gabi told Sonny before changing the subject, pointing out with a sigh of relief that the party was about to begin. Paul, dressed as an elf, led a group of kids into the waiting area and told them to gather around the Christmas tree. Sonny quickly retrieved his cell phone so he could take a few pictures of Paul. "I'm gonna send this to all your former teammates, and it will confirm everything they think about gay people," Sonny told Paul, who laughed as he replied that he wouldn't regret wearing the utterly demeaning outfit if it managed to make at least one sick kid smile. He threatened to use Sonny's face for batting practice if the pictures were published anywhere, but Sonny wasn't worried because he had seen how bad Paul was at batting practice.
"Nice threads, elf man. You spying on Santa now? You think he's trafficking stolen toys?" Dario asked as he approached Sonny and Paul. Sonny told Dario that Paul had just been doing the job he had been hired to do. Sonny insisted that Dario needed to direct his anger at him, not Paul, but Dario countered that he had plenty of anger for both of them. Gabi intervened, once again telling the men to drop the matter. "It's a party," she reminded them. "Oh, is that why I'm having so much fun?" Dario sarcastically replied before storming off.
Steve and Kayla soon arrived, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, and Arianna noted Steve's festive eye patch, admitting, "I didn't know Santa was a pirate!" As Steve and Kayla began handing out gifts to the kids, Dario returned and pulled Gabi aside to apologize for how he had been acting that day. "I hope this makes up for it," he added as he gave her a gift bag. Inside, she found an identical version of the designer handbag he had given her a few days earlier. "I felt terrible about getting you a knockoff. This one's the real deal," he explained. Sonny watched with interest as Dario helped Gabi move her belongings from the old handbag to the new one.
Later, as Kayla began to read the Christmas story to the kids, Joey explained to Jade that it was another family tradition. "Weird to think that next year, our kid will be sitting in this very room, listening to the very same story," he mused. Smiling, she admitted that she couldn't wait to see that. She added that her family had never really had any traditions -- other than her parents yelling at each other all the time, of course.
After the story ended, Sonny approached Gabi and wondered if she would be okay with him taking Arianna to see the big Christmas tree in the town square later. "Yeah, absolutely. That's a great idea. Will would have wanted that," she replied. She said she would meet up with them later, after she had finished helping the hospital staff members clean up. She suggested that Sonny could invite Paul to tag along, but Sonny dismissed the idea, reminding her that he had previously asked her to stop trying to play matchmaker.
Changing the subject, Sonny commented on Gabi's new handbag, casually wondering if she planned to let Arianna play with the old one. She admitted that she wasn't even sure where the old one had gone after she had cleared everything out of it. As Sonny was heading to his car a short time later to set up the car seat for Arianna, he spotted Dario in an empty hospital room, cutting the microchip out of the knockoff handbag.
Later, at the Horton Town Square, Sonny showed Arianna an angel on the Christmas tree, observing that it kind of looked like her. "The part of you that looks like your daddy," he sadly added before giving her a kiss. Paul soon interrupted to ask if she had enjoyed the Christmas party. Sonny confirmed that she had, adding that they were planning to go home soon and put out cookies and ice cream for Santa. Paul told Arianna he hoped she would get everything she wanted for Christmas. "You, too, Sonny," he added. Sonny watched in silence as Paul walked away.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail assured a confused Chad that she was real. He wanted to see for himself, so she allowed him to touch her after she put Thomas back in the crib. Sobbing, he wrapped his arms tightly around her, admitting that he didn't want to let her go because he was afraid she would disappear if he did. He eventually allowed himself to take the risk, however, and he backed away in shock as he demanded to know where she had been since the day she had supposedly boarded a doomed flight. Tears streamed down her face as she stared at him, unable to answer his questions.
Abigail remained silent until after Chad took her into their bedroom, which, to her surprise, hadn't changed since the last time she had been in it. "So, you can talk," he observed. He wondered if she had heard his questions. She confirmed that she had. "And?" he asked expectantly. She wondered if she really had to explain everything to him, hoping he could just be satisfied with knowing that she was back. "Baby, you didn't -- you didn't, uh, go to the store to get milk," he pointed out. Nodding, she conceded that he had a right to know the truth.
Abigail didn't want to look at Chad while she was explaining everything to him, so she asked him to take a seat on the bed. After he complied, she turned away from him and began telling him why she had escaped from Shady Hills. He reached out to comfort her when she began shaking while recalling how the medication the doctors had given her had only made her visions of Ben worse, but she recoiled and walked to the other side of the room, stressing that she didn't want him to touch her. She continued that she had encountered Andre when she had gone to the mansion to explain her decision to leave Salem, and he had helped her formulate a plan to fake her death, knowing that would be the only way to stop Chad from looking for her.
"You did that on purpose?" Chad asked incredulously. He wasn't surprised that Andre had lied to him, but he couldn't believe that Abigail had been willing to put him and Thomas through such pain and sadness. She insisted that it had been the only way for her to have a shot at getting better. She told him about how Laura had helped her get on the right medication, and she admitted that even after she had started feeling like herself again, she had still had every intention of staying dead -- until she had learned that J.J. had been shot. "That was months ago!" Chad pointed out.
Chad demanded to know where Abigail had been since then. She admitted that although she had planned to leave Salem again after seeing for herself that J.J. was okay, she had been unable to leave Thomas for a second time. "But I should have. I should have gone back to Grandma's. Everything would have been so much better. I should have left you at peace," she continued. "At peace?" Chad countered with an incredulous scoff. She started to leave, but he blocked her path. "Please, just let me go. This is -- it's for the best," she insisted.
"For the best? What, are you --" Chad began to respond before stopping himself. Realizing what he had been about to say, Abigail conceded that she might still be crazy, after all. She continued that, at the very least, she certainly wasn't the woman he had married. She assured him that it was okay that he had moved on with Gabi, explaining that she had seen them together and had also seen him remove his wedding band. "You were spying on me?" he asked. She clarified that she hadn't intended to witness those private moments.
Chad angrily wondered how Abigail had failed to see how much of a wreck he had been when he had made the painful decision to take off his wedding band. "It's okay for you to hate me --" she began to assure him, but he clarified that he didn't hate her at all. "[But] how can you expect me to understand that -- that -- that you came back here, and yet, you did nothing? That I was moving on because I didn't have a choice? That 'moving on' is a stupid phrase that people use who don't understand that -- that -- that grieving is like having an iron vice around your heart that keeps getting tighter and tighter?" he tearfully added.
Abigail apologized, conceding that her efforts to fix things had only made them worse. "I just -- God, I wish I would -- I wish I would actually die! I do!" she added. Chad stressed that he didn't want to ever hear her say anything like that again. She insisted that it was true, but he argued that giving up would mean letting Ben win. "Maybe he already has," she suggested, reiterating that she wasn't the woman Chad had married -- and she would probably never be that woman again. As Thomas began crying in the nursery, Chad wondered if she could at least be the mother her child needed, even if she could no longer be the wife he needed.
Abigail hesitantly stepped back into the nursery and picked up Thomas, who stopped crying as she comforted him. Meanwhile, Dario followed Gabi out of the hospital and caught up with her at Abigail's memorial site, insisting that he needed to tell her something. She assumed that he was just going to try to warn her again about getting involved with Chad, but he clarified that he actually wanted to tell her something about Abigail. "She's here -- in Salem. She's alive. I've seen her," he revealed.