At the hospital, Nick and Victoria discussed Nikki's grave condition. Victoria said that although their mother appeared to be sleeping peacefully, it was also apparent that a lot might be going on inside her mind. Victoria added, "I really wish Dad was here right now." Nick, sounding frustrated, replied, "Well, why isn't he? We've gotten word to all his friends and business associates. There is no way he doesn't know how bad things are for Mom." Victoria said she'd been constantly reminding their mother that Victor was on his way. Victoria added that Nikki was hanging on to see Victor again.
After Victoria stepped out, Nick talked to Nikki about his family's plans for Christmas. Nick said he was certain Nikki would awaken in time to spend Christmas with her grandchildren. Nick apologized for having put his mom in middle of his battle with Victor. After Nick stepped out, Victoria returned to sit with Nikki. Victoria expressed appreciation for Nikki having been her main support after J.T.'s tragic death. Victoria cried, "It's my turn to fight for you now." Victoria pleaded with her mother to wake up.
As Nikki lay motionless in her hospital bed, she imagined herself wearing a white dress. While sitting at a piano in a dark room, a beam of light illuminated Nikki while she played a song. Nikki paused, lifted her head, and seemed to hear Victoria pleading, "Don't give up, Mom." Nikki called out to Victoria and said she was tired. Victoria begged Nikki to lean on her. Victoria explained that she would have to leave because Reed was struggling and needed her to be home. Victoria kissed Nikki's forehead and begged her to stay strong.
After Victoria left, Nikki imagined herself again playing the piano in a dark space. Nikki stopped playing and recalled Reed having told her he'd driven the car that had struck her. Nikki called out to Reed and remembered him telling her he'd been too scared and ashamed to come forward. Reed assumed all blame and said he was sorry. Nikki responded to her memory of Reed's statement and said, "No. Don't be."
Before Victoria left the hospital, Nick offered to help her at Newman Enterprises. Victoria said she was surprised that Nick would abandon Dark Horse to help a company rival. Nick clarified that he had offered to help until Victor returned and wasn't insinuating intentions to move in on her turf. Nick added that he was trying to be a good brother because their mother would want them to support each other. Victoria apologized, explaining that she'd been through a long couple of days. Nick told Victoria it would do her good to spend time with her children. Victoria embraced Nick before she left.
Nick returned to Nikki's bedside. Nick talked about how much he missed hearing his mother laugh. Nick blamed himself for having caused Nikki distress, which he believed had led her to drink again. Nick promised his mother that he'd be a better son, and he begged her for a chance to prove how much he loved her. In her mind, Nikki reacted to her son and said, "Nicholas." Nick told Nikki he wouldn't give up searching for Victor.
After Nick mentioned Victor, Nikki imagined a bright, nearly blinding light. Nikki walked away from her piano and moved toward the light. Victor called out, and Nikki turned her head back toward the darkness and saw Victor. Victor said, "Don't go." Nikki replied, "But the music. The light is so beautiful." Victor walked toward Nikki and replied, "We can make beautiful music right here." Nikki turned her head back to the light once more, but Victor held out his hand and said, "Stay."
Nikki took Victor's hand and drew near to him, and the couple danced. Nikki seemed content to be back in Victor's arms. Victor escorted Nikki to the piano and asked her to play him a song. Nikki again joined Victor for a dance. After Nick told his mother goodnight, he kissed her on the forehead, turned out the light, and left. In Nikki's dimly lit hospital room, a figure appeared in the doorway, casting a shadow against the wall behind Nikki's hospital bed.
At Victoria's house, Reed wrapped a framed photo of himself and Nikki and said he hoped his grandma would like it. Billy said it was fortunate for Victoria that Reed had made it home in time for the holidays. Reed appeared to suppress his tears when Billy mentioned how much it had meant to Victoria that he'd gone to visit Nikki. Reed said he and Nikki shared a special bond because he'd been named after Nikki's family. Reed cried that he might never get the chance to tell Nikki how much she meant to him because she might die from her injuries.
Billy reminded Reed that his grandmother was a fighter. Distraught, Reed cried, "Don't say it. Don't say that she's a fighter. That's what people say when they don't want to face the truth. My dad was a fighter. So was Delia. It didn't save them." Billy reminded Reed that Victoria believed Nikki would be okay. Reed expressed fears that his grandmother wouldn't make it.
After Victoria returned home from the hospital, she admired all the work Billy and Reed had done to prepare for Christmas morning. Billy went to check on the kids so Victoria could talk to Reed. Victoria said she believed Nikki could hear what they said to her. Reed replied, "I really hope so. I wanted her to hear what I said." Reed told his mother he couldn't stop thinking how different things would be had the accident never happened. Victoria berated herself for not driving Nikki home the night of the accident. Reed asked if the police had any leads about the person who'd struck Nikki. Victoria said she didn't know.
Katie later joined Reed and Victoria. Billy escorted Johnny into the living room so his mother and siblings could enjoy an encore performance of the song he'd performed at his school Christmas pageant, which Victoria had missed. Johnny asked Victoria if he could sing to his grandma after she returned home for Christmas. Victoria explained that Nikki wouldn't be home for Christmas because she wasn't yet strong enough. As Victoria talked about ways the children could cheer themselves while remembering Nikki, Reed fought back tears. After Katie and Johnnie went to bed, Billy comforted a distraught Victoria.
At the Abbott mansion, Lola arrived to visit Kyle and complained that Wisconsin was too cold for her liking. Kyle helped Lola warm up by serving her a mug of Mrs. Martinez's hot chocolate and cookies. Lola held up her mug and offered a toast to their first Christmas together. Lola recalled her wishes from the past, when she had believed her goal to become a top-rated chef had precluded her desire to have a boyfriend. Lola admitted that having both made life much better. Kyle said that Lola deserved all the good things in her life.
Kyle gave Lola a stylish handbag as a Christmas gift. Kyle said he'd been paying attention when Lola had browsed online while searching for a new purse. Lola gave Kyle a new watch. Lola said she'd noticed that Kyle had stopped wearing a watch, so she thought he might need a new one. Kyle raised his sleeve to take off his watch and explained that he shouldn't have bought himself a new watch so close to Christmas.
Lola picked up Kyle's newly purchased watch and realized he'd paid much more for it than she had for the one she'd purchased. Kyle said, "It's just a watch. No big deal." Lola seemed disappointed, took back the watch she'd purchased, and explained that she'd gotten it on sale at a discount store. Lola added that Kyle had likely purchased the watch he'd bought for himself at a fancy jewelry store.
Kyle admitted he'd purchased his pricey watch to impress others. Kyle insisted he preferred the watch Lola had given him. Lola seemed unconvinced. Kyle explained that someone he cared about had put forth effort to choose a watch especially for him. Lola smiled as she fastened the watch around Kyle's wrist. The couple kissed.
Nikki has a surprise visitor
Rey and Mia cuddled in bed at their apartment after having sex. Mia cooed that Christmas wasn't until the next day, but she felt like she'd already gotten her present. Rey joked that he could return the gifts under the tree, but she warned that he'd be dead if he touched them. He mused that she was the one person in the world who could say that to him, and she purred that she could do many interesting things to him. She couldn't imagine being happier than she was at that moment, and they kissed and began to make love again.
At Crimson Lights, Mariah praised Sharon's hip idea to host a popup holiday party, and she noticed the unique ornament that Sharon was hanging on the tree. Sharon mentioned that it was from Rey, and Mariah voiced concern about a married coworker giving her mother a gift. Sharon argued that it was an ornament and not lingerie, and there was nothing wrong with giving a colleague a gift as a token of friendship. Mariah asked if Sharon was sure that was all it was, and Sharon abruptly turned the topic to setting up before the guests arrived. Mariah looked skeptical.
Sharon finished a phone call and informed Mariah that Faith wanted to stay home to finish decorating cookies with Christian and Monique. Mia and Rey entered, and Mia gushed that the place looked beautiful. Mia exclaimed that she'd been riveted by Mariah's show the day before, and she recommended that she use her expertise as a stylist to play on Mariah's strengths even more. Mia pulled a reluctant Mariah aside to discuss giving her a fresh look for the new year.
Sharon observed that Rey and Mia seemed to be in a good place, and he remarked that Mia was the happiest she'd been since they'd been newlyweds. Sharon wondered about him, and he shared that he'd been able to let go of his anger so that he and Mia could reconnect. Rey supposed that he was happy, and Sharon said it was all she'd ever wanted for him.
Mariah was surprised when Tessa showed up, but Tessa didn't want to stay for long because she didn't want to make Sharon mad. Mariah insisted that Sharon knew she had to learn to accept that Mariah and Tessa were together. Sharon called Tessa's presence there a surprise, and Mariah asserted that she'd invited her significant other because she wanted to be with the two people who meant the most to her on Christmas Eve.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack wished Billy a "merry almost Christmas." Billy commented that it would be merrier once Jack saw what Billy had gotten him, but Jack doubted that he would appreciate the gift as much as getting his brother back. Jack proclaimed that the rough waters were behind them, and he anticipated the Abbotts mounting a comeback. Billy wondered if there was any reason Jack seemed to be filled with holiday spirit, and Kerry called out for Jack as she descended the stairs in a robe. She awkwardly greeted Billy, who smiled knowingly.
After Kerry got dressed and returned downstairs, she asked where Billy was. Jack replied that the coast was clear, and he invited her to go to Sharon's party at the coffeehouse. Kerry recalled that Sharon had been Billy's date at the Jaboutique launch party, and Jack mentioned that Sharon and Billy were just friends. Kerry remarked that Sharon was gorgeous, so all she cared about was that Jack and Sharon were just friends.
Jack confirmed that he and Sharon were friends but also former spouses, and Kerry's jaw dropped. Jack explained that it had been a decade earlier, and Kerry figured that even though Jack had a lot of exes, it spoke well of him that he'd remained on good terms with them. Jack imagined that it seemed odd for Kerry to face another part of his past at every turn, but he swore that she was the only woman he wanted to be with. He hoped that their trip to Bora Bora would be just the beginning for them, since it had been a long time since someone had made him as happy as she did. They kissed.
At the hospital, someone lurked outside Nikki's room as Victoria spoke to her unconscious mother. Victoria recalled that Christmas Eve had always been Nikki's favorite holiday, and she reflected back on her dad lifting her up to put the star on top of the tree. Victoria recalled that Nick, Abby, and the grandkids had all had their turns, and sometimes they'd had people over to drink hot cocoa and sing along as Nikki had played carols on the piano. Victoria knew the holiday was important to Nikki because it was all about family, love, and hope. She added that Nate had told them that they needed to prepare for the worst, but she wanted to believe that Nikki was still fighting because she wasn't getting worse. Victoria begged her mother to keep fighting, and she turned around and asked what someone was doing there.
In the corridor, Nick informed Phyllis that Nate had sounded dire when he'd suggested that they prepare themselves. Phyllis figured that Nate had just been covering himself by managing expectations, and Nick questioned whether they had any reason to be optimistic. Phyllis pointed out that it had been 24 hours, and Nikki was still with them. Phyllis added that Christmas Eve miracles happened, and if Nick couldn't hang onto that, he could hang onto her. Noah suddenly appeared, and a shocked Nick embraced him. Noah explained that he'd wanted to be there for his family.
Nick lamented that things had been rough with Victor pulling a disappearing act, but Sharon and Phyllis had been amazing. Victoria emerged from Nikki's room, and Billy arrived and thought Victoria should take a break. Billy suggested that they stop by the party at Crimson Lights before going to see the kids, and Nick recounted that it had picked him up to see Faith and Christian. Noah requested that they not tell Sharon that he was in town, since he wanted to tell her himself. Billy and Victoria left, and Phyllis went to sit with Nikki to leave Nick and Noah to talk.
Noah relayed that Summer had decided to stay in Dubai in case Victor showed up. Nick didn't know what was worse -- worrying that something terrible had happened to his dad or thinking that Victor might be hiding underground to avoid being arrested for murdering Reed's father. Nick regretted that his investigators hadn't found anything, but the only thing that mattered was that Victor get home for Nikki. Nate reported that there was still no change, and Nick demanded that Nate level with them about whether Nikki's condition would turn around anytime soon. Nate recommended telling the rest of the family to get there.
At Nikki's bedside, Phyllis was sure that Nikki hated being stuck in the hospital when she should be home with her family. Phyllis growled that whoever had mowed Nikki down should pay, and she urged Nikki to channel her anger and wake up. Phyllis added that while she personally wouldn't have a problem with Victor going down for J.T.'s murder, she knew Nikki was determined to prove he was being framed, and Nikki couldn't do it from bed. Phyllis ordered Nikki to "wake the hell up," or things wouldn't go how Nikki wanted them to.
Jack and Kerry arrived at Crimson Lights, and Sharon told them to enjoy themselves. Mariah griped that Sharon had barely said two words to Tessa, and she expected Sharon to at least make Tessa feel welcome. Victoria and Billy entered, and she informed Jack that there had been no change in Nikki's condition. Kerry remarked that they'd all been there, and it was good to take breaks to decompress. Sharon warned Victoria that Rey was at the party, and Billy suggested that he and Victoria have some food and drinks and then be on their way.
Billy revealed that Johnny and Katie had been looking everywhere for their Christmas gifts, and Jack was sure all the adults had been just as bad at the kids' age. Kerry insisted that she'd been an angel, and Jack joked that he could actually see her halo. Billy revealed that he'd hidden the gifts in a padlocked refrigerator in the garage, and Victoria added that the kids would never look there because they thought it was full of spinach. Billy said he was glad to see her smiling again, and Victoria thanked him for helping her get her smile back.
Tessa looked upset by something on her phone, and Mariah asked what was wrong. Tessa indicated that she'd received a text message from Crystal, who was lonely because she didn't know a soul in Canada. Tessa contemplated going to spend Christmas with her sister, and Mariah demanded that Tessa show her the message -- unless she couldn't because there wasn't one. Tessa wailed that Mariah shouldn't have to choose between Tessa and Sharon, so Tessa thought it was best if she just left. Mariah insisted that she loved Tessa and would be miserable without her, but Tessa worried that Mariah would eventually resent her for getting between her and her mom. Mariah refused to lose either one of them as Sharon looked on.
Sharon dropped off hot apple cider to Mariah and Tessa on the patio, and Mariah inquired whether it was a peace offering. Tessa swore that she could never apologize enough for what she'd put Sharon through. Sharon couldn't just forgive and forget, but she couldn't bear the thought of making her daughter unhappy when they were lucky to have one another. Sharon promised to be civil, and she hoped they could all coexist for Mariah's sake. Mariah and Sharon said they loved one another, and they hugged. After Sharon stepped away, Mariah insisted that there be no more talk of Tessa leaving, and Tessa swore that she wasn't going anywhere. They kissed.
Victoria wanted to pick up some sugar cookies for the kids to leave out for Santa, and Sharon led her to the counter to pick some out. Billy observed that Jack and Kerry seemed to have a good thing going on, and Jack announced that they were headed to Bora Bora right after Christmas. Billy considered it a bold move because Jack and Kerry didn't know one another well, and Jack pointed out that Nikki was a reminder of how quickly things changed. He added that he liked Kerry, and he was ready to go for it.
Nick called Victoria and told her that Nate had said people should be there to say their goodbyes. Victoria brokenly conveyed the message that her mom might not live to see the next day. She confronted Rey and spat that her mom might be dying, yet he still didn't know who'd been driving the car that had hit her. Billy led Victoria out, and Rey vowed to do everything in his power to find the person responsible.
Sharon contemplated going to the hospital, but she didn't want to intrude on Nikki's family. Mariah assured Sharon that the Newmans would appreciate all the support they could get. Kerry urged Jack to go and not to worry about her or their trip. Mariah offered to close up the coffeehouse, but Tessa insisted on doing it because Sharon needed Mariah. Jack muttered to himself that it couldn't end on Christmas Eve.
At the hospital, Nick questioned how the situation had gone from no change to no hope, and Phyllis suggested that perhaps Nate had wanted the Newmans there to provide healing energy for Nikki. Noah argued that Phyllis hadn't heard what Nate had said, but Phyllis encouraged them not to jump to the scariest conclusion, since no one knew what would happen that night. Nick asserted that Nikki would never give up on them, and he pledged not to give up on her. Victoria arrived with Billy, Reed, and the kids and vehemently agreed with Nick. Nick inquired about Sharon's party, and Victoria replied that it had been nice, but their favorite detective friend had been there.
Billy mentioned that the kids had demanded to see their grandmother, and Nick complimented Katie's angel costume. Nick said Nate was examining Nikki, and they were waiting for word from him before going in to see her. Billy took the kids to get some milk, and Victoria's strong resolve crumbled as she ran into Nick's arms and wondered where their dad was. Reed asked if Nikki was in any pain, and Nick reported that Nate had told him she wasn't. Sharon was shocked when she arrived and saw Noah, but she understood why he'd gone straight there.
Sharon told Nick that she hadn't called Faith because she hadn't been sure how Nick wanted to handle it, and Nick thought Faith would want to be there. Noah volunteered to pick up Faith in his rental car, but Phyllis stepped up to do it so he could stay with his family. After Phyllis left, Jack mused that Nikki would be proud of everyone for being there like that. Sharon hoped it gave Nikki strength to know they were all there for her. Rey appeared, and Victoria snarled that only family was allowed there.
Rey divulged that he was there to ask Nate about the night of the accident in case there were any details that might help find the driver who'd run down Nikki and left the scene. Nick found it fascinating that Rey had left his wife on Christmas Eve to lurk around, wait for Victor to show up, and arrest him before he even saw Nikki. Nate intervened as Nick told Rey to "get the hell out," and he instructed Nikki's loved ones that they could have short visits in small groups. Rey pulled Nate aside, and Victoria implored everyone to bow their heads and ask for a miracle.
Outside the emergency room, Tessa showed up with her guitar and some bags, which she handed off to Mariah.
In Nikki's room, Victoria declared that since Nikki couldn't be home with her family, they'd decided her family had needed to go to her. Billy added that Reed, Johnny, and Katie were there, and the kids had made some Christmas art for Nikki. Johnny said he loved his grandma, and Billy took the children out to give Victoria and Reed some time with Nikki. Victoria assured Reed that there was still a chance, and an emotional Reed sat next to Nikki and told her he loved her.
Victoria cried that all she wanted was to have her mother home with them for Christmas, and she and Reed exited. Reed requested a minute alone, and Victoria left to join the rest of the family. Reed sent a text message to Charlie, saying he was at the hospital, and his grandmother was dying. Reed typed that he was going to confess to a cop who was there, and he stared at Nikki through the window of her room.
Jack sat with Nikki and remembered the weekend they'd spent at the Abbott cabin during the first year of their marriage. He recalled that it had been autumn, and she'd wanted to go hiking to check out the stunning scenery. He thought about the bright colors and the sun being high in the blue sky, and she had turned to him out of nowhere and said, "God surely must be a hell of a painter." Jack had felt like he'd touched the core of her as they'd stared at the wonder of it all, like he had been able to see her soul. He regretted that he'd let her down, and he begged her not to leave because she had to let him make it up to her.
Nick, Sharon, and Noah let Nikki know they were there. Noah said he'd returned home to see Nikki for Christmas, and he wanted to be with her for many more Christmases. Nick imagined that Nikki had heard from everyone how loved and needed she was, and he implored her not to even think about going because she was the heart and soul of their family. Nikki squeezed Nick's hand as Noah and Sharon looked on in amazement.
Nikki's loved ones gathered together outside the emergency room, and Mariah passed out candles and thanked everyone for joining her. She announced that her mom had inspired the idea by saying she hoped Nikki felt their presence. Mariah requested that everyone bow their heads and join her in a moment of silence to send Nikki their best wishes and heartfelt prayers. Victoria thanked everyone on Nikki's behalf. Tessa began to strum her guitar and sing "Silent Night."
Reed slipped out as everyone began to sing along. He found Rey in the corridor and introduced himself, and Rey said he was sorry to hear about Reed's grandmother. Reed asked if he could talk to the detective about something, but Charlie interrupted and scolded that Reed was making a mistake. Charlie contended that Reed was messed up about what had happened to his dad, but he insisted that Rey couldn't tell him anything more about the case.
Charlie pressed Reed to focus on his grandmother instead of causing a scene with the detective, especially on Christmas Eve. Reed apologized for bothering Rey, and Charlie pulled Reed aside. Charlie was glad he'd stopped Reed from saying anything, but Reed didn't know how much longer he could live with the secret.
Nick excitedly informed Nate that his mom had squeezed his hand. Nate examined Nikki and determined that the squeeze had been an involuntary reflex. Sharon suggested that they keep praying. Nick, Sharon, and Noah joined the group singing outside the ER.
Someone stepped into Nikki's room and took her hand. "Merry Christmas, my darling. Merry Christmas," Victor murmured.
Victor watches over Nikki
At GC Buzz, Mariah opened her show by wishing her viewers a merry Christmas. She was super exited because the holidays were for family, and that was what the viewers were -- family. Mariah asked her viewers to write in and describe their most amazing holiday, and she would share them with the viewers. She said that holidays were about the memories that everyone would remember for the rest of the year. She asked the viewers not to give her credit for that idea because it was an extension of the previous year's program.
Mariah explained that Devon had underwritten the previous year's GC Buzz toy drive, and it would happen every year as part of the Hilary Foundation. She said it had been because of Hilary that she and the crew had become a family. She described Hilary as funny, feisty, naughty, and nice.
Mariah said that she'd seen the emails from parents showing their children's faces when the children opened boxes of happiness. She said that for one day each year, regardless of the old wounds and hurt feelings, everyone held onto the things that mattered, and they made new memories. The cynicism, commercialism, and all the "isms" disappeared -- all that remained was love. That was the Christmas miracle.
Mariah tearfully explained that she'd received emails from many viewers who'd written in about some of their sweetest memories, and she wondered how many of those special moments were about people they'd lost. She said that many of her viewers had written about their parents. As children, no one had meant more to them than their parents because they'd always brought the magic. Those memories were the most precious gifts they would ever receive.
Mariah thanked her viewers for melting her frozen heart. She said she'd been asked to share some of her limited Christmas memories. She picked up a snow globe. Mariah explained that she'd had a twin sister, Cassie, whom she'd never met. Her mother had given her Cassie's snow globe the previous year. Emotionally, Mariah said she and Cassie had only shared the same DNA, but the snow globe had been something Cassie had touched, and it had been something she'd loved. That had made it Mariah's most precious gift.
Mariah asked everyone to reach out to a neighbor who might be alone. She said that when she'd been growing up, they hadn't done holidays, but since then, she'd learned about connecting with people. Mariah asked her viewers to connect with others because the greatest gifts were actions, smiles, hugs, or kind words. She asked everyone to spread the love while they could. She wished everyone a happy holiday and signed off.
At his penthouse, Devon looked woefully at the last card Hilary had given him. She'd written that "I hope all your wishes come true." Devon put the card on the credenza.
Nate arrived. Devon thought Nate was on call, but Nate said he only had one patient, and he'd be called if he was needed. Ana suggested they watch a movie. As they scrolled through the list of movies, hoping to distract Devon, Devon informed them that he wouldn't forget that Hilary had died. He said it was his first Christmas without her, and it wasn't all bad because he was sharing his couch with Nate and Ana.
Ana said that the last time she and Devon had spent Christmas together had been with their mother approximately six years before. That was when their mother had been clean and sober. Nate said that it didn't sound like Devon and Ana had had too many holidays together. Ana explained that she'd been raised by her aunt, who'd been the only mother she'd ever known. Ana said that, eventually, she'd learned about the family she hadn't known.
Devon told Nate that one Christmas Eve, he and Ana had sung together at church. Nate asked if Ana missed singing. Ana admitted singing was part of her, but she had other goals. Devon said it was Christmas, and the only thing missing was his grandmother's seven layer bars. Nate hoped Devon had the recipe. Ana said that she and her aunt had made them every Christmas, and all the ingredients were in Devon's pantry.
Ana told Nate that once she'd found out she had a brother, she'd wanted to know him and have days such as that one. Ana pulled out a picture from her wallet of Devon as a little boy. She said she'd look at it whenever she'd wanted to be close to Devon. Devon embraced Ana and said they were finally together.
A short time later Devon, Nate, and Ana sat on the couch and talked about happy times from past Christmases. Ana asked Nate about his past. Nate said his father had died when he'd been quite young, and his mother had married Malcolm, who was smart, stylish, and handsome. Everybody wanted to be around him. At that time, Nate had felt he'd never measure up to Malcolm.
Malcolm had recognized that Nate had been trying to emulate him. He'd told Nate that being smart and creative, giving a damn, trying hard, and working his butt off were as cool as it got. Malcolm had made him feel good about himself. That was the best gift anyone had ever given him.
After Ana left the room, Devon asked Nate if it was his best Christmas since Carolyn's death. Nate admitted that it was better than it had been. Nate said he knew that Devon wasn't there yet. Devon said he felt better. Hilary had been the biggest part of his life for a long time, and whenever they'd been apart, every thought had been tied to her in some way. Devon said he needed to figure out what to do with all that free space in his mind.
Devon told Nate he'd seen a therapist and that it had felt weird paying someone to give him advice, but it had been good because the therapist had given him a lot of tools to help him with his panic attacks. He asked if Nate had ever felt like his heart was about to jump out of his chest. Nate admitted that he had. Devon said it was Christmas, and he hadn't expected to be sitting on the couch with Nate and Ana. Devon and Nate laughed.
Devon told Nate that the previous Christmas, Hilary had been getting ready for her show when a package had arrived. It had contained a gorgeous designer dress she'd sent to herself. Hilary had always been in constant motion. Nate said Carolyn had been the same way, but more low-key and self-assured. He said that the first time he'd seen Carolyn, it had been at a lecture hall where the head of the department had been speaking about some assessments. He'd said that they weren't up for debate.
Nate told Devon that Carolyn had politely raised her hand, and without attitude or ego, she'd proceeded to tear apart everything the lecturer had said. Nate knew he was toast if she'd been able to do that to the lecturer. He admitted it had taken him two weeks before he'd had the courage to ask Carolyn out. Nate and Devon laughed.
At Victoria's, Billy and Victoria watched happily as Johnny and Katie opened their gifts. As Victoria watched Billy help the kids assemble their toys, she received a text message. She told Billy that because Victor had been in the middle of a deal with Asia and had since disappeared, she had to deal with the situation immediately. Billy said he was aware she was worried, but it was Christmas morning -- and she was working, exactly like Victor. He wrestled the phone away from her and pointed out that the world hadn't combusted.
Victoria attempted to retrieve her phone, but Billy kept it, and he told Johnny and Katie that their mom had the best idea. They would all go and check out the Christmas decorations around the neighborhood, go skating, then go for a sleigh ride; when they returned home, they would have some hot cocoa and play race cars.
After Billy and Victoria's outing with the kids, Victoria said she'd make some hot chocolate. Billy declared that he and the kids were on car duty. Johnny yelled happily that it had been the best Christmas ever.
After the kids were asleep, Victoria told Billy it had been a good day. She was grateful the kids were happy and healthy, and she was proud of Billy. Billy acknowledged what he'd put Victoria through -- and it hadn't only been his recent gambling but also what had happened to Delia and other things he'd probably blocked out. Victoria commented that no one had loved Christmas more than Delia. Delia had thought it was going to be the best Christmas ever when she'd believed her mother had been getting married, but it had turned out to be her dad who'd gotten married.
Billy said that Delia's best Christmas had been the year she'd beaten cancer. Victoria commented that it had been with Billy's help. Woefully, Billy said the illness hadn't been what had taken Delia away from them. He said that Delia had loved Victoria's house and the family they'd made for her -- the tea parties and Pinkerton Pony. Delia had always been ready for a good time.
Victoria said that Billy had always believed that happiness would come, and something new would be there for him to enjoy. Billy acknowledged that he was a screwup, and Delia had known that. On Delia's last Christmas, he'd told her that she would have toys in her stocking, and he'd have coal in his. Worried, Delia had held his face in her hands and said that he could stop being naughty. Sadly, things hadn't turned out that way.
Victoria told Billy their kids were worn out because they'd had the best Christmas ever because of him. She said that she and Reed counted on Billy because he was able to give Reed something no one else could. She said she'd been worried about Nikki and Victor, but sometimes being a Newman became too much. She said Billy had always reminded her how to really live, even before Jamaica. They embraced.
At the Abbotts', Dina stared at the Christmas tree and got lost in thought. Jack asked if she remembered the ornament he'd made when he'd been six years old. In a flashback from the previous Christmas, Dina said she remembered that she'd told him to spell Jacky with a "Y" not an "IE." Sadly, Dina said she was aware her memory would come and go -- mostly go, and that she'd become difficult for Jack to handle. Tearfully, she wanted Jack to know that she'd always loved him. Jack said he loved her and hugged her.
Back in the moment, at the tree with his mother, Jack told Dina he was happy that he was Jacky, not Jack. It was something only he and Dina shared -- he was her Jacky, and she was his beautiful, stylish mother. Dina's demeanor suddenly changed, and she demanded to know who Jack was. Calmly, Jack explained that he was her son Jacky, but Dina continued to eye him suspiciously.
A short time later, Jack took Dina a cup of tea. Dina smelled the tea and recognized that it was hibiscus. She recalled that she'd worn a red hibiscus flower in her hair somewhere on the beach where it had been very hot, and the change had been good. She told Jack to cherish all his memories. Dina had a flashback to a miserable Christmas.
In Dina's flashback, a pouting Dina told a young Jack that the party at the country club had been canceled, John was away on business, and Jack's sisters were with friends. Dina said the family should have been spending half the year in Fiji or the south of France, not Genoa City. She wanted to be somewhere warm. Jack was starry-eyed when he commented that Dina had been everywhere.
Still in her flashback, Dina described the countries to Jack as places where there was music, laughter, cheerful drinks, and no such thing as work. Jack asked if she had any photographs of her trips. Dina was certain she did. She was about to search for them when she received a telephone call from a friend who invited her over. Dina accepted. She told Jack she was going to Marlene's and hoped Jack didn't mind. She said they would look at the photographs some other time.
At the door, in her flashback, Dina looked back and saw the disappointment on Jack's face. She took off her coat and said she'd rather stay home and have fun with Jack than listen to people talk about the weather. Jack was thrilled. Dina hugged Jack and wished him a Merry Christmas.
In the present, Jack and Dina embraced, and Jack wished Dina a merry Christmas. A short time later, Dina had fallen asleep on the couch, and Jack covered her with a blanket.
At the hospital, Victor sat at Nikki's bedside. He said he didn't care about J.T., the police, or anyone else because he'd returned to be with her. He said she'd changed his life the moment he'd met her. He said he'd taught her about clothes, place settings, and the conversations one should and shouldn't have at the country club, but Nikki had taught him how to love. He'd gown up in a cold environment, but Nikki had opened up his heart.
In a flashback, Victor recalled Nikki telling him what Christmas meant -- it was a new beginning, and everyone tried to give and love more. They celebrated the birthday of Jesus.
At Nikki's bedside, Victor said it was a fresh start for them. He stroked Nikki's cheek then he took her hand and placed it on his chest. He asked if Nikki felt his heart beating for her and asked her to return to him.
In a flashback, Nikki asked Victor to open his eyes. Victor was very moved when he saw that Nikki had given him a statue of a horse and rider. Nikki said she wanted it to be a reminder of that evening and for him to remember how he'd felt at that moment every time he looked at it. She hoped it would erase some of his disappointments and bad memories. Victor asked about the Christmas angel who had given him the gift. Nikki said she wasn't an angel because angels didn't wear black. Victor left the room, and when he returned, he gave Nikki a large box containing a beautiful white fur coat. She put it on. Victor said she looked like a Christmas angel.
At Nikki's bedside, Victor told her that she wasn't just a beautiful woman in a white fur coat, but she was a strong, loving woman who was as stubborn as he was. He reminded her that she'd used her illness to inspire others. He asked if she recalled the concert. He had encouraged her to proceed with the concert because he'd needed to convince himself that she wouldn't fade away.
In a flashback, Victor told Nikki he wanted to show the town what Nikki was made of. He said he loved her and that he knew she loved him in return. He'd wanted to spoil her and show her off to a world that only he could give her, and he wanted to make her happy. He said he was still the same selfish scrooge he'd always been. Nikki admonished him for saying that because she thought he was wonderful. Victor and Nikki wished each other a merry Christmas. Nikki told Victor that it had been the happiest moment in her life, and they kissed.
At her bedside, Victor kissed Nikki's hand. He lay down beside her and stroked her hair.
Nikki wakes up then goes missing
At the Abbott mansion, Kyle playfully used the watch Lola had given him to time how long it had taken them to eat breakfast. She questioned whether he really liked the watch, and he vowed to never take it off. She teased that her purse was perfect in every way except one -- she couldn't find a way to make it as goofy as he'd made the watch. Kyle declared that he had confidence in her, and it was one of the many things about her that he loved. They kissed, and she marveled that things really were working out between them. She added that she thought he got her, and that was a Christmas present right up there with the purse. They kissed again.
At Crimson Lights, Lola manned her pop-up sandwich stand and cheerfully greeted Kerry, who recognized Lola's purse as a designer label. Lola wasn't sure of the brand, and she mentioned that it had been a gift from Kyle. Kerry compared Kyle's gift-giving style to Jack's, and she shared that Jack had presented her with a trip to a five-star resort in Bora Bora. Kerry recalled that she'd had a purse from the designer a few seasons back, before the price had skyrocketed when the designer had started doing limited editions. Kerry inspected the handbag and pointed out the limited-edition number, and she proclaimed that she was officially envious of the luscious bag. Lola looked uncomfortable.
Later, Lola packed up her food stand as Kyle arrived. He checked his watch and breathlessly noted that he'd gotten there as quickly as possible, but she spat that they weren't there to discuss his "damn watch." Stunned, he asked if he'd done something wrong. She retorted that he'd done 5,000 things wrong, since that was how much the "damn purse" had cost, and she wanted to give it back. He protested that he'd thought she loved it, but she barked that she wasn't in it for the money.
Lola questioned "why the hell" Kyle had spent $5,000 on a purse, and he defended that he'd wanted her to have the best. Lola mocked the tiny label that told her only 799 other people were that rich and stupid, but Kyle argued that he'd wanted her to have something nice that she could depend on. She suggested that he return the watch because it had cost far less, since she didn't even make $5,000 in a month. She assumed that he thought everything she owned was "crap." Kyle requested another shot, since he didn't think an item's cost was the only way to judge its worth.
Kyle swore that he loved his watch just like Lola loved the purse, but she clarified that it was past tense in her case. She felt crummy for giving him something so out of proportion to what he had given her, but he recalled that she'd been happy before the label had bothered her. He explained that he'd just wanted to get her something she liked, and he wondered if there was any way he could fix things. She ranted that if he couldn't understand why spending that kind of money made her uncomfortable then he didn't get her at all, and he also didn't respect her if he thought she was overreacting. She shoved the purse at him and stormed out. He yelled after her to ask if she was saying they were over.
At the Athletic Club, Fen handed a customer a menu and approached Devon's table. Ana looked on as Fen awkwardly rambled on about the recording session, and she interrupted. Devon mentioned that he'd been about to give Fen a copy of the song they'd recorded, and he handed Fen a thumb drive. Devon asked Ana about the contract, and she reported that the legal team was off for Christmas. She ordered a cappuccino, and Fen stepped away. Devon confirmed that he thought the track would be a hit, and Ana ordered him to stop acting like he'd discovered Fen and produced a hit when Devon knew it had all been her doing.
Ana argued that she'd listened to Fen's demo and produced the track when Devon had shown no interest, but Devon countered that she'd stolen studio time. She pointed out that it had worked for Fen, but Devon had blown her off. Devon scoffed at the idea of her becoming a producer overnight without paying her dues, but Ana claimed that she had done so as a performer. Devon conceded that she had an eye for talent, but he warned that the industry had changed a lot in recent years, and it was hard to make money.
Ana insisted that she knew a hit when she heard one, but Devon explained that a lot more went into making hit records than gauging raw talent. She begged him to teach her how to be successful, and he credited her for making two big discoveries -- Fen and whoever had written the song. Devon mused that the tune had reminded him of why he'd been excited to get into the industry, and he wanted to meet the person or team responsible and sign them to an exclusive writing deal. He asked her to help him make it happen, but she flatly replied that she couldn't.
Ana claimed that the songwriter was back east and had made a conscious choice to stay away from the business side of the industry. Devon wanted to know more about the songwriter, and he pulled Fen over and requested his honest opinion of the song they'd recorded. Fen admitted that he'd never thought about singing anyone else's work, but he believed the killer writer knew exactly what a hit was, and he wanted to hear more. Devon was determined to make a publishing deal happen, but Ana cautioned that there would have to be restrictions. Devon swore that he wouldn't get in the way of the writer's creative process, and he thought one meeting would be worth the writer's time.
After Devon stepped away, Fen apologized to Ana for feeling like he'd had to fall in line when Devon had entered the studio. Fen recognized that she'd been the one who'd given him the song and made him sound good; he'd hated seeing Devon dismiss her, but he hadn't thought calling Devon out on his bad behavior had been the best way to start things off. Ana understood that getting chances in the industry was rare, and Fen wondered if she'd tell that to the songwriter. Fen suggested that she drop the pretense, since he was sure that she'd written the song.
Ana refused to discuss Fen's theory when she had to talk to the actual songwriter to sign a deal. Fen maintained that she was the writer, since he'd been able to tell in the studio that she'd had a connection to the song. Fen praised the way she'd been able to pull a performance out of him, and Ana reluctantly admitted that she'd written it. She insisted that he couldn't tell Devon, but he demanded to know why in exchange for his silence. He questioned why she'd want to hide the major gift she had, and she informed him that she'd been robbed.
Ana recounted that she'd become a creator, and she'd found a mentor who'd shown her how to tap into her potential. She recalled writing every day to refine and polish the best of the best, and she'd ended up recording a five-track EP of her performing her own songs. She continued that an industry pro had asked to shop it around to find her a record deal, and she'd barely scanned the release form he'd needed her to sign so he could submit her work to producers and labels. Ana lamented that she'd never heard from him again or gotten paid when her songs had been released, since she'd signed over her work without even knowing it.
Ana resolved to stay behind the scenes and maintain control over her work, and she left it up to Fen to become famous. Fen contended that he needed her help to get there, and he thought it would be cool to make it happen together. She pledged to help him as long as he said nothing to Devon about her secret identity.
At the hospital, Victor peeked outside the curtains of Nikki's ICU room. He returned to Nikki's side and whispered that he had to leave her, but he urged her to keep fighting and be strong. He promised that they would be together very soon, and he kissed her forehead and headed out. A moment later, Nate entered Nikki's room and examined her chart before staring at her with interest. Nikki slowly opened her eyes, and Nate called her name and asked if she could hear him.
In the waiting area, Phyllis arrived with coffee from the cafeteria for Nick and Noah. She explained that she'd thought about going to Crimson Lights, but she hadn't wanted to leave the building, just in case. Noah reasoned that Christmas wasn't over, and perhaps they all had a gift on the way. Victoria arrived with Reed and Billy and asked if there were any updates. Nick reported that Nikki had made it through the night, and Billy brightly suggested that they wait and see what happened.
Jack arrived and guessed there had been no change. Jack swore that Nikki would pull out of it soon, and he assured Nick that he had things handled at Dark Horse. Nate rushed in and announced that there had been a change, since Nikki was back. He added that he needed time to examine her, but he believed it might be the break they'd been waiting for. Nikki's loved ones exchanged hugs as Reed breathed a sigh of relief.
Nikki's family peppered Nate with questions, and Nate advised them to be patient until he knew more. He stressed that it was a delicate and crucial time, and making sure Nikki was stable was the top priority. A guilty Reed hovered outside Nikki's room, and Billy asked if the teen was okay. Reed grappled for a response, and Victoria acknowledged that Nikki's accident had hit Reed hard. Victoria added that they finally had hope again, and Billy declared that the worst was over.
Nick wondered what had caused the change in Nikki's condition, but Jack encouraged him just to accept it for the blessing it was. Jack inquired whether there had been word from Victor, and Nick muttered that it didn't make sense.
Nate checked Nikki's vitals a third time and considered it safe to say she'd made a remarkable return. He informed Nikki that her body had needed to fight while she'd been sleeping, so she needed to rest to regain her strength. He sensed that she wanted to see her family, and he agreed as long as they kept their visits brief.
Nate informed Nikki's family that he thought it was too early for visitors, but Nikki had disagreed, and he had to respect that. He announced that she was on the road to recovery, but it might be a long one because she'd suffered severe injuries and needed time to heal. Nate instructed the group to visit Nikki calmly in small numbers, and Nick shook his hand and said he could never thank Nate enough. Nate prepared to go home, and he told them to give him a call if they needed anything. Reed watched as Victoria and Nick stepped into Nikki's room.
Victoria and Nick fussed over Nikki, and they pressed her to tell them what had happened on the night of the party. Nikki wearily asked where their father was, and Nick regretted that they hadn't been able to reach Victor. Nikki referred to a dream she'd had, but she insisted that Victor had been there and had saved her. Victoria said she believed Nikki.
Jack hesitated to enter Nikki's room because he felt like he was jumping the line with Noah and Reed still waiting to see her, but Nick revealed that Nikki had asked for Jack. Alone with Nikki, Jack told her that she didn't have to talk, but she confessed that she'd been drinking. He mentioned that the doctors had done a toxicology screen, and he wished he'd helped her more. She croaked that it was on her, and he pledged to go to A.A. meetings with her once she was back on her feet. He promised to be there for her as long as it took, and he kissed her hand.
Billy told Victoria that he was happy for her and for Nikki, and he recognized that Victoria had been suffering while trying to keep it together. Victoria confided that she'd thought things would end badly, and she'd felt like she'd been caught up in a tornado ever since everything that had happened with J.T. Victoria marveled that her mom was conscious and talking just hours after they'd thought she'd been slipping away, and she thanked Billy for having her back. Billy acknowledged that Victoria hadn't always been able to count on him, but he'd wanted things to be different that time. She assured him that they were, and someone watched as they hugged.
Victoria told Noah and Reed that their grandmother was ready to see them, and Nick advised them to keep Nikki calm. Reed inquired whether Nikki had said anything, and Nick reported that she hadn't said much, but she was getting stronger. Victoria encouraged them to let Nikki try to talk if she wanted to, and she invited Billy to join them.
Nikki thanked Noah for traveling such a long way to see her, and he imagined that he would sleep the whole flight back, knowing she'd be okay. He suspected that she'd been trying to tell him something when she'd squeezed his hand the night before, and she murmured that things were still very fuzzy. She noticed that Reed was awfully quiet, and Reed assured her that he was happy because all he'd wanted was for her to wake up and be all right. Nikki was sorry that everyone had worried about her, but Noah insisted that it hadn't been her fault. Nikki jokingly questioned what kind of grandmother ruined Christmas, and they all chuckled.
Meanwhile, Nick thanked Phyllis for everything she'd done to get him through an unthinkable situation, and she figured that things had worked out the way they were supposed to. She thought Sharon deserved just as much credit, and he intended to thank his ex. Nick wished he'd had more of a chance to tell Nate how grateful he was, and Phyllis mentioned that she'd seen Nate in the cafeteria. Nick took off to try to catch him.
In the parking lot, Nick jumped into Nate's car as Nate was about to leave. Nick apologized for scaring him, but he'd wanted the chance to thank Nate properly for being the reason Nikki was alive. Nate pointed out that Nikki had been the one who'd pulled through against impossible odds, but Nick appreciated Nate's dedication. Nick thought one of Victor's best decisions had been to hire Nate as his personal doctor, and Nate urged Nick to call him if the family needed anything. Nick exited the car, and Victor suddenly appeared in the back seat and instructed Nate to look straight ahead and look calm.
Victor agreed that the Newmans owed Nate a big debt of gratitude, and Nate pushed Victor to go to the ICU because Nikki needed him. Victor explained that he couldn't go back because the authorities were watching and would arrest him, and he commanded that Nate listen carefully. Victor suspected that whoever had committed the hit-and-run wasn't finished with the job, and Nate recommended that Victor talk to the police. Victor reiterated that he couldn't do that, and it was why he was asking Nate for help.
After Victor shared his plans, Nate protested that what Victor was asking was insane. Victor swore that he wouldn't ask if it wasn't necessary, but Nate argued that Nikki's prognosis had been grim just hours before, and she'd barely pulled out of it. Victor asserted that Nate would be well compensated, but Nate pointed out that he was already paid well on Victor's payroll. Victor demanded that Nate help him for Nikki's sake, or he was wasting his time there.
Phyllis told Victoria that Nick had gone to find Nate, and she asked if they could talk. Phyllis expressed relief for Nikki and the whole family, but she imagined that Victoria had the same questions Phyllis did. Phyllis was skeptical that it had been an accident, and she inquired whether Nikki had said anything. Victoria indicated that her mother was still trying to get her bearings, but Phyllis thought they needed to figure out what was really going on before the cops did.
Later, Nick returned to the ICU and hoped to spend more time with his mom, and Victoria invited him and Phyllis to join her to tuck Nikki in. They entered the room and found Nikki's bed empty.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack exclaimed to Kerry that Nikki had pulled off nothing short of a miracle, so he could focus on pampering Kerry in Bora Bora. Kerry apologized for judging his close relationship with his ex, and Jack informed her that Nikki had insisted that they jet off right away. Kerry suggested that they not disappoint Nikki, and they kissed.
Nick discovers that Nate took Nikki
At the hospital, Victoria and Nick stared at Nikki's empty bed and struggled to make sense of what was going on. Victoria theorized that a nurse had taken their mother for more tests, but Phyllis returned from checking with the front desk and indicated that no tests had been ordered. Victoria urged them not to jump to conclusions, but Phyllis thought Nikki could be missing. Nick regretted not putting guards outside the door, but Victoria reasoned that Nikki had rarely been alone and that the hospital had security. Nick called the police to report a missing person, convinced that someone had kidnapped Nikki. Meanwhile, Nikki was being transported in an ambulance.
Nick testily contemplated how the hospital had let something like that happen, and Victoria planned to contact the hospital administrator. Nick wanted to sue, but Phyllis cautioned that it wouldn't help anything right then. Rey arrived, and Nick ordered him to lock the place down and question everyone. Rey vowed to find out what had happened, but Nick snapped that Rey's promises had fallen short before, since they still had no idea who had started the fire in the stables or who had run Nikki down. Nick expressed a lack of confidence that the police could figure out who'd kidnapped his mother, and Rey sympathized but encouraged Nick to let him do his job by taking everyone's statements.
Victoria griped that they hadn't seen any results from Rey's prior investigation despite endless questioning, and Nick pointed out that the first 24 hours after a kidnapping were the most important. Victoria insisted that they all wanted the same thing, but Nick sensed that the police were only interested in nailing Victor for J.T.'s murder. Rey declared that it was his purpose to find out what had happened, and he promised that his other investigation wouldn't affect that one. Nick threatened to get the higher-ups involved if Rey didn't take it seriously, since Nick believed someone was out to hurt his mom, and he hoped it wasn't too late already.
Rey swore that he was only out to learn the truth, and he pledged to do everything in his power to find Nikki. Victoria agreed to give him the benefit of the doubt, noting that it was more than he'd done for them. Nick asserted that they'd almost lost their mother once already that week, and he wanted to know every development. Nick added that he would let Rey know if he turned up any leads with his own investigation, since Newman had its own crack security team with access to other sources that might turn up faster results than the police. Rey warned Nick not to do anything illegal or get in his way, and he stepped aside. Rey made a call and informed someone that Nick was firing off like a loose cannon, and he worried that Nick would do something stupid to compromise the investigation.
Phyllis demanded that Nick keep her filled in, and she advised him to be very careful. Victoria tried to call Nate to see if he'd noticed anything while he'd been on duty, but she got his voicemail. Nick was sure that Nate was dead asleep after a 14-hour shift. In the ambulance, Nate ignored Victoria's call and tended to Nikki.
Over the phone, Nick barked instructions for the entire security team to do whatever it took to find his mother. Victoria assured Nick that he was doing the right thing by doing what Victor would do. Nick thought they had to cover their bases because Rey wanted to find Victor even more than Rey wanted to find Nikki. Phyllis wondered if that was such a bad thing, since she couldn't imagine what would keep Victor away from Nikki.
Victoria guessed that Victor either didn't know about Nikki's condition or that he was in trouble, but Nick suspected that they would have heard if something had happened. Nick surmised that Victor's exile was self-imposed because Victor knew he would be arrested, and Phyllis growled that it was a new low, even for Victor. Victoria argued that Victor would break the space-time continuum to get there if he knew about Nikki. Nick stated that the number one priority was finding their mother.
Nick suggested that they offer a reward, but Victoria recalled that they'd ended up with false leads when they'd tried that before. Nick figured that they just needed one good one, and it might be the only way to get it. Nick ranted that they weren't doing enough, and he pondered what the kidnapper's motive had been. He surmised that it was money, but Victoria suggested revenge. Nick concluded that one of Victor's enemies had targeted Nikki, but Victoria ordered him to stop the father-bashing.
Victoria decided to go home to check on the kids, and Phyllis suggested that she and Nick do the same thing while they waited for news. Nick refused to go home, but he promised that he'd meet Phyllis there later. Nick asserted that with his dad gone, it was up to him to protect his family. Phyllis warned him not to do anything risky, but he urged her to go home because he had to do it alone. He walked away.
Nick tracked down Rey at the police station and announced that he was ready for the update Rey had promised. Rey said he was going over witness statements, and he would be in touch as soon as he had something to report. Nick plopped down in a chair and prepared to wait until that happened, and Rey directed him toward a more comfortable chair and advised him not to drink the coffee. Nick swore that he wasn't giving up or leaving, and Rey asked if Nick would mind pitching in by reviewing the hospital visitor log to see if any names raised a red flag. Surprised by the request, Nick thanked him.
Nick guessed that he should apologize for being rough on Rey at the hospital, and Rey said he respected Nick's devotion to his mother. Rey imagined that he'd be going crazy if his mom had gone missing, and Nick admitted that his reaction had been more about Nikki than about Rey. Rey claimed that he was accustomed to unpredictable victim reactions, and he cited a few colorful examples. Nick recognized that he couldn't justify his behavior, and he groaned that it had been a rough year with both of his parents disappearing. Rey commented that it was easier to deal with facts than emotions, since facts didn't lie or disappoint.
Nick wondered who Rey was talking about, and Rey explained that it could be comforting to find leads and collect evidence, since all roads led to the truth. Rey's computer chimed with an incoming message, and Rey exclaimed that it might be the key to finding Nikki. Rey divulged that the hospital had sent over its security footage, but it would take a while to upload. Nick grimaced at having to wait, and Rey remarked that they weren't all that different. Rey understood what it was like to be a kid who had wanted to see his father as a hero but had never really gotten over realizing that his dad hadn't been one.
Rey revealed that his father had walked out on his family, and Rey had felt the need to fill the hole by taking care of his family. Nick realized that Rey was also talking about Victor, and he recognized that the hardest part was finding a way to cut his dad out of his life for good, since it was easy to be drawn back in. Rey suspected that there would always be some love there, but the blinders could be deadly. Nick became irritated, and he swore that he knew exactly who his dad was, but it didn't mean that Victor had killed anyone. Nick accused Rey of using the conversation to open a vein in the hope of gaining information, but Rey asserted that he was nothing like Nick's father or his own.
Rey and Nick watched the footage, and they witnessed an orderly shut off Nikki's hospital equipment. Rey pointed out that it could have been done to run tests, but Nick thought Nate would have called him if that had happened. The men watched as the orderly transferred Nikki to an ambulance gurney, and Rey observed that the person had a staff pass and looked like they could actually do the job. Rey paused the tape on the kidnapper, whose face was obscured by a surgical mask.
Rey realized that the kidnapper had known exactly how to avoid the security cameras, so the guy might be a member of the staff and not just someone dressed like an orderly. Rey prepared to send digital copies over to his tech team to match against the staff database, and Nick thanked him. Nick prepared to leave, but Rey stopped him and firmly stated his belief that they would find Nikki.
Meanwhile, Phyllis informed Victoria that Nick had gotten an idea in his head that he'd thought would help the search. Victoria bemoaned that it was hard when one didn't have all the facts, and she feared that they were hampering the investigation because the police didn't know everything. Victoria suspected that the same person who'd kidnapped Nikki might have also terrorized Nikki with J.T.'s clothing and planted evidence against Victor, and she intended to spill everything. Phyllis argued that they should do the opposite, but Victoria declared that she'd rather go to jail than jeopardize her mother's life. Phyllis countered that it was about all of them, but Victoria remained determined to confess everything that night.
Phyllis contended that telling the truth about J.T.'s death wouldn't save Nikki but put her in prison. Victoria spat that Phyllis was only thinking about herself, and Victoria planned to confess while keeping the other women's names out of it. Phyllis doubted that Nikki would want Victoria to sacrifice herself after everything they'd been through, but all Victoria cared about was finding her mom. Phyllis anticipated that if Victoria confessed after months of denial, Rey would think Victoria was throwing herself under the train to save her father. Phyllis added that if the kidnapper had wanted to kill Nikki, he would have done it because Nikki had been in no position to defend herself. Phyllis reasoned that the tormentor was after all of them, and they had to use that to their advantage by staying bonded together to "nail the S.O.B."
Nate asked the driver of the ambulance for his name, and George gruffly identified himself. Nate pleaded that they needed to get to a place with better medical equipment, and he questioned how much longer the drive would be. George indicated that it would be about an hour because they were hitting traffic, and Nate asserted that it was what the sirens were for. George hesitated to draw attention to themselves, but Nate ordered George to put them on because they couldn't let Nikki die. George obliged.
The ambulance raced down the street, and Nate observed that they were getting far outside the city. He asked where they were going, but George referred to his strict instructions to simply take Nate and Nikki to a meeting place, and he thought it would be better if Nate didn't know where it was for his own safety. Nikki began to stir, and Nate assured her that everything would be okay. He explained that she'd been sedated, and Nikki asked where they were. Nate revealed that they were in an ambulance after leaving the hospital, and he was there to make sure she was well taken care of. He added that it had been Victor's idea to try to save her life.
Nate told Nikki that Victor had been convinced that she'd been in danger at the hospital, since whoever had harmed her might make another attempt to do so. He continued that Victor was moving her someplace safe where he could protect her, and Nikki realized that she hadn't been dreaming when Victor had been there to see her. Nate confirmed that Victor had visited Nikki on Christmas, and Nikki recalled playing the piano and dancing in her dream. Nate admitted that the mind's subconscious was a powerful thing, and Nikki marveled that it had seemed real because it had been. Nate referenced studies that had proven that the voice of a loved one could awaken the unconscious brain, and Nikki considered it to be a fancy way of saying Victor had given her back her life.
Nikki asked where her husband was, and Nate informed her that the driver wouldn't tell him where they were going. Nikki mused that Victor wouldn't take any chances or spare any expense when it involved saving her life, and Nate confessed that he and Victor had argued about whether it was a safer course of action than keeping Nikki in the hospital. Nate recounted that Victor had made the point that he'd been able to slip in and out of Nikki's room, so someone who was out to harm her might do the same. Nate insisted that he was only there because he had to protect her as his patient, and he'd taken an oath to do no harm. Nikki proclaimed that the best thing for her health was to be with the love of her life, and she told Nate to have a little faith.
Nikki assured Nate that he'd done the right thing by taking her to see Victor. She believed that she'd emerged from her coma because her soul was connected with Victor's, so she'd overcome what had been happening with her body, even if it had defied science. A skeptical Nate wasn't sure he believed in miracles, and Nikki wondered why not, since he'd just seen one. Nate shared that the love of his life had passed away, and he hadn't been able to save her. He recalled that it had almost caused him to quit medicine altogether because his training had been useless, and he hadn't even been able to save her with the power of his love.
Nikki couldn't explain why that had happened, and Nate wished he had the belief she and Victor had. Nate relayed that Victor had been convinced that he could give Nikki the strength she'd needed to wake up, but Victor was flawed like the rest of them. Nate inquired how Nikki could reconcile the way she felt about Victor with what he'd been accused of doing, and Nikki asked if Nate was talking about J.T. Nate mentioned that Victor couldn't show his face in Genoa City without being arrested, but Nikki was adamant that Victor was being framed. Nikki became agitated as she professed her husband's innocence, and she slipped into unconsciousness. Nate begged her to stay with him.
Nate panicked that Nikki's blood pressure was spiking, and he needed a series of drugs to get it down. He checked the supplies in the ambulance but couldn't find what he needed, and he insisted that George turn around. George grumbled that he had strict instructions, but Nate warned that Nikki could go into complete organ failure. George thought Victor might have what Nate was looking for, but Nate argued that there was a good chance Nikki would die if she didn't get the drugs soon.
Nick returned to the hospital and looked at the security cameras. He entered Nikki's empty room, and he spotted someone in the corridor who looked like the man on the tape. The man darted away, and Nick raced after him, calling out to ask if the person worked there. Nick caught up with the man and yanked off his mask, and he was stunned to see Nate.
Nate pleaded with Nick not to make a scene if he cared about his mother. Nick was appalled that Nate had taken Nikki, but Nate insisted that it wasn't what it looked like. Nick bellowed that it looked like Nate was about to go to jail, but Nate swore that he was a doctor trying to save a patient. Nate confided that he could lose his medical license for sneaking Nikki out, but he'd done it for Victor, who had orchestrated her escape.
Nate continued that he'd refused to help at first, but Nikki had wanted to be with Victor. Nate hurriedly explained that he couldn't discuss it further, since Nikki had relapsed and needed medication right away. Nick wanted to call the cops, but Nate cautioned that it would only delay getting Nikki what she needed. Nate implored Nick to trust him, but Nick flatly stated that he didn't. Nate countered that Nick had no choice unless he was going to physically stop Nate from saving Nikki's life.
In the ambulance, George told someone over the phone that Nate was getting medicine, but he couldn't risk staying there much longer. George requested that the person ask Victor what to do, but Nate suddenly returned with Nick. Nick ordered Nate to give Nikki the medicine before getting her back inside the hospital, and Nate administered the drug. Nate turned to exit the ambulance, but the door was locked. Nate told George to let them out, but George announced that it was his job to carry out the plan as instructed.