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Theo prepares for his move to South Africa
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018
by Mike

At the Martin mansion, Eli finished telling Valerie about what had happened on Christmas Eve. Valerie, who knew a thing or two about secrets refusing to stay secret, thought it would be best for Eli and Lani to admit the truth to Gabi and J.J., but Eli disagreed. "This situation is different from yours and David's; [I mean], it's not like Lani's gonna have a baby -- thank God," Eli reasoned.

At the hospital, J.J. tried to explain away what Abe had just overheard, but Lani could tell that the cat was already out of the bag. "Dad, I'm pregnant," Lani confirmed with a shrug. Nodding, Abe hesitantly admitted that a lot of questions were swirling around in his head. "[But] before I ask them, there's one thing I'd like to say to both of you: I've come to see how much you love each other, so...congratulations," Abe continued.

"In a perfect world, my daughter would fall in love, decide to get married, make sure that marriage is working, and then tell me she was pregnant...but this is far from a perfect world," Abe added with a chuckle. J.J. stressed, for the record, that he was really happy about the unexpected development, and Lani claimed that she was, too. Satisfied, Abe hugged Lani and declared, "Then I'm happy, too."

Abe wondered if anyone else knew about the pregnancy yet. Lani gave J.J. a pointed look while stating that someone had unilaterally decided to share the news with Theo. Grinning sheepishly, J.J. explained that he had been unable to hide his excitement from the intuitive teen. "Well, you can hardly fault the man for being happy," Abe told Lani. "Why keep it a secret?" Abe continued. Lani hesitantly pointed out that, according to Kayla, eighty percent of miscarriages occurred within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, but J.J. casually countered, "But you've been doing so great, and it's already been, like, two months!"

Before Lani could respond, Valerie approached with Eli. Abe started to get the new arrivals caught up on what was being discussed, but Lani quickly stopped him, pointing out that it was almost time to say goodbye to Theo.

Meanwhile, Theo admitted to Claire that he was nervous about moving to South Africa but excited to finally leave the confines of his hospital bed and start doing something again. She assured him that she would find time to visit him during his year away from Salem -- which would fly by, in any case. He happily mused that at least one thing would be different when he returned home -- he'd have a niece or nephew to bond with and spoil.

Claire promised to keep the news to herself -- just as Ciara entered Theo's room. Ciara wanted to know what the couple was talking about, but Claire evasively suggested, "If you can't learn to knock, can you at least not butt in on private conversations?" Ciara apologized and stressed that she wasn't looking for a fight; she simply wanted to say goodbye to Theo. Nodding, Claire stepped outside so Ciara and Theo could have some privacy.

"So, I finally come back here, and you're taking off? You know, a less secure individual would take that personally," Ciara joked. "Well, good thing you're the most secure person I know," Theo countered, adding that he would never forget that -- or her. Fighting back tears, she asked to hold his hand one more time, just as she often had during childhood sleepovers, when every little noise had freaked her out. Then she gave him a hug.

After Ciara left, Abe entered Theo's room and offered him a chance to back out of the clinical trial, having realized that it really needed to be his decision. Theo decided to stick to the plan, reasoning, "How else am I gonna try and walk again?" Nodding, Abe pointed out -- perhaps more for his own peace of mind than for his son's -- that Celeste and Brandon were working out a schedule so that at least one of them would be with Theo in South Africa at all times to ensure that the teen would never get too lonely. Abe confidently predicted that Theo would eventually walk on his own again because the teen had a knack for beating the odds.

Meanwhile, J.J. went to the cafeteria to get Lani some soup, giving Eli an opportunity to talk to her privately -- and return her earring. Eli was relieved to hear that Lani had decided that J.J. and Gabi never needed to know about what had happened on Christmas Eve. Eli observed that Lani and J.J.'s relationship seemed to be back on track. Nodding, Lani wondered how Eli and Gabi's relationship was going. "Better than ever," Eli replied.

When Abe emerged from Theo's room a short time later, Lani said goodbye to Eli then went to see her brother. J.J. soon returned from the cafeteria, and Abe seized the opportunity to question him about his decision to leave the police force. "After what I did to Theo, I realized that police work isn't for me anymore. And now Lani and I have a baby coming. I don't want my kid to be raised by two parents who are both in the line of fire," J.J. explained. "Already thinking like a father," Abe observed, clearly impressed. J.J. vowed that Lani and the baby would always be his top priorities in life from that point forward.

Meanwhile, Lani tried to make small talk with Theo, who could tell that she was upset about something -- something that had nothing to do with his imminent departure. "Come on -- just let me listen to your problems for once," Theo begged Lani, who dismissively insisted that big sisters never had problems. Undeterred, Theo informed Lani that he knew about the baby. "[J.J.] seems really happy, and he loves you," Theo pointed out. Fighting back tears, Lani admitted that the feeling was mutual. Confused, Theo mused, "When I'm trying to fix an IT problem and I get stuck, I know that I'm missing some information, so...what am I missing?"

Lani claimed that she was simply feeling overwhelmed because the pregnancy had been a complete surprise -- and it was about to plunge her into situations that she wasn't exactly prepared to deal with yet. Theo wasn't convinced but decided to drop the subject, noting with a shrug, "I tried." He added that he would try not to worry too much about the true cause of her distress because he knew he could always count on her to take care of herself and do the right thing, no matter what. She forced a smile and gave him a hug then left so he could have a few minutes alone with his girlfriend. Ciara watched from afar as Claire and Theo embraced.

Meanwhile, Abe thanked Valerie for all the support she had given him lately. She promised to always be there for him and his family. "That family's getting a little bigger," he cryptically revealed, confusing her. "You didn't hear this from me, but...Lani's gonna have a baby," he added after swearing her to secrecy. Stunned, she forced a smile while worriedly eyeing a nearby trio -- Eli, Lani, and J.J.

At DiMera Enterprises, Abigail wondered why Chad and Gabi were in the middle of an embrace. Gabi explained, while separating from Chad, that she had been comforting him because he was upset about his nephew's impending move to South Africa. "Well, you're a good friend," Abigail told Gabi before somewhat pointedly beginning to talk to Chad about taking a trip to South Africa in the near future to see Theo -- and finally enjoy the honeymoon they had been postponing. Chad excitedly approved the idea then rushed off, vaguely explaining that he needed to take care of something.

Gabi, sensing that the hug had bothered Abigail more than she was letting on, waited until the coast was clear then asked her, "Are you really okay with [the idea of me] working so closely [with Chad]?" Abigail admitted that she'd had "a nanosecond" of jealousy but was quick to stress that Stefan was to blame. Chuckling, Gabi revealed that Stefan had tried to manipulate her earlier, too.

Meanwhile, Vivian worriedly warned Stefan not to let his feelings for Abigail jeopardize their plan. Stefan promised not to lose sight of the bigger picture, but Vivian didn't find his assurances particularly comforting, knowing that love often caused reason to go out the window. Vivian was especially concerned because Stefan was falling for a woman who had a history of mental instability. "There's a fine line between passion and madness, and I don't think Abigail is as far from that line as people think, so tread lightly," Vivian cautioned Stefan, who dismissively insisted that he was in complete control of the situation.

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Chad soon entered Stefan's office and claimed, with feigned reluctance, that although he was annoyed with his new brother for trying to get between him and his nephew using chess -- which had always been their thing -- he had decided to let it slide. "[You've] convinced [Theo] that you're not out to hurt the family, and [he's] a genius, so I've learned to trust his instincts, [so I'm going] to give you the benefit of the doubt [from now on]," Chad continued, extending a hand as a peace offering while also issuing a verbal apology. Chad stressed, as Stefan shook his hand, that he looked forward to working with his brother to rebuild their father's company.

After Chad left, Vivian, who had watched the exchange with great interest, told Stefan, "I hope you didn't believe a word he said; I certainly didn't." Stefan couldn't be certain that the apology had been insincere, so he decided to follow his brother's lead and extend the same benefit of the doubt that he had just been given. "Just don't rattle [Chad's] cage -- especially when it comes to Abigail," Vivian warned Stefan.

Later, Stefan tracked down Abigail and returned her identification badge. Abigail, who was still with Gabi, handed over a press release about the acquisition of Gabi Chic that they had been working on together. "Is there any chance that you and I could have dinner tonight and go over this?" Stefan asked while flipping through the pages of the press release. "No, because I'm having dinner with my husband and our son," Abigail pointedly replied. "I was talking to Gabi," Stefan clarified.

Meanwhile, Chad contacted John while passing through a secluded section of Horton Town Square. "I'm not trying to pressure you; I just -- I seriously think that we're running out of time, okay? The more I'm around [Stefan], the more I think he's dangerous, [so] we need to resolve this -- before somebody I love gets hurt," Chad worriedly stressed, unaware that Vivian had followed him and was eavesdropping nearby.

On the next Days of our Lives...
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• Andre opens up to Kate.

• Stefan toys with Abigail.

• Gabi receives devastating news.

• Vivian worries about John's investigation.

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