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 Recaps for The week of December 17, 2012
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Monday, December 17, 2012
by Mike

At the Horton house, Jennifer groaned and buried her face in her hands as she recalled the statements that she had made at the Horton cabin earlier. Abigail entered the living room and offered to call Daniel, assuming that Jennifer was in pain. Jennifer loudly insisted that she didn't want Abigail to call Daniel.

Jennifer's reaction surprised Abigail, who wondered what was going on. Jennifer reluctantly told Abigail about everything that had happened at the cabin. Abigail asked if Jennifer really loved Daniel. Jennifer evasively pointed out that she had been under the influence of some serious medications at the time that she had professed her love for Daniel, but Abigail wasn't satisfied with that answer.

Jennifer continued to avoid the question, claiming that discussing the situation with Abigail would be weird. Abigail countered that Jennifer's repeated deflections were weird. Abigail wondered why Jennifer was refusing to answer the question. "This feels like a betrayal of your father, and if you feel that way, I completely understand. Part of me agrees with you," Jennifer admitted, clutching a framed photograph of Jack.

Abigail insisted that Jack would want Jennifer to keep living her life. Abigail added that she simply wanted Jennifer to be happy, advising Jennifer to let Daniel know how she felt about him. "Daniel is a good guy, and it's obvious that he cares about you a lot...if you're ready. That's the real question -- are you ready to move on?" Abigail asked.

Later, after Abigail left, Jennifer looked at a photo album. Jennifer smiled as she flipped through the pages, eventually stopping when she found a large portrait of Jack. Jennifer raised a finger to her lips and gently touched the photograph. Jennifer tearfully closed the album and placed it in a drawer. After Jennifer dried her eyes, she grabbed her purse and quickly exited the house.

In the hospital waiting area, Kate realized that she had misplaced her cell phone. As Kate rummaged through her purse, Maxine congratulated her, noting that the next year would mark Kate's fifth year of being cancer-free. Kate continued to search for her phone as she thanked Maxine, removing various items from her purse and placing them on a nearby table.

One of the items, a photograph of a young boy, caught Maxine's attention. As Daniel entered the waiting area, Kate explained that the boy was her grandson, Parker. Kate excused herself so that she could see if she had left her phone in the examination room that she had occupied earlier. After Kate left, Maxine rushed off to check on one of her patients, leaving the photograph on the table.

Daniel hesitantly approached the table and stared at the photograph. When Kate returned, Daniel handed the photograph to her and abruptly excused himself. Kate followed Daniel into one of the break rooms. Kate could tell that Daniel hadn't forgotten about Parker. Daniel assured Kate that, while he no longer thought of Parker as his son, he would never be able to forget about the boy.

Kate was surprised that Daniel had not seen Victor's copy of the photograph at the Kiriakis mansion. Daniel explained that Victor and Maggie had always tried to avoid talking about Parker in Daniel's presence, adding that Parker's photographs had never been prominently displayed at the mansion. Daniel revealed that after Chloe and Parker had moved to Chicago, he had never seen Parker's face again.

Kate assumed that Daniel was joking, but he assured her that he was being serious. Daniel started to excuse himself, but Kate stopped him and announced that she had recently learned that she was still cancer-free. "I'm healthy because of you -- I know that, you know. No matter what went on between the two of us, I'm still in remission because of your work...and I'm grateful to you for that. So...that's why I'm going to offer you this, and it's not to be hurtful or to torture you. If you're interested -- do you want to know more about Parker?" Kate asked.

Kate told Daniel that she had gone to Chicago the previous month to celebrate Parker's second birthday. "He is...a handful. He's walking, he's running, he's climbing -- I mean, he takes apart everything that he can get his hands on. He is super curious," Kate said with a laugh. Before Kate could continue, Maxine interrupted and gave Daniel his surgical schedule for the next week.

Kate was surprised to learn that Daniel had started performing surgeries again. Daniel told Kate about the treatment that had cured his hand tremors, and Maxine seized the opportunity to brag about how he had saved Jennifer's life at the Horton cabin earlier. After Maxine left, Kate knowingly observed that Daniel was still in love with Jennifer.

Daniel pointed out that his love life was none of Kate's business. "I am butting in, aren't I? But a long time ago, I did tell you that she would never get over Jack. A lot has happened since then, but I was right, wasn't I? I do feel compassion, and maybe it's because we're -- we're both in the same boat, since I just had my heart broken. I, um...tracked Stefano down in Europe, and we had it out, and...the marriage is over...so enjoy," Kate said.

Daniel was sorry to hear that Kate's marriage had ended. Kate assured Daniel that he didn't have to pretend that he cared, adding that she knew exactly how everyone in Salem had felt about her marriage to Stefano. Kate started to excuse herself, but Daniel stopped her and thanked her for telling him about Parker. Kate retrieved the photograph from her purse and offered it to Daniel as a Christmas gift.

After Kate left, Daniel smiled as he looked at the photograph. Meanwhile, Jennifer entered the room and greeted Daniel, explaining that she needed to talk to him about something.

At the Brady Pub, Gabi realized that she had inadvertently revealed the baby's true date of conception. Gabi quickly backpedaled and claimed that she wasn't sure when the baby had been conceived, but Hope wasn't convinced. Hope recalled that Nick had seemed fairly certain about the date of conception when she had talked to him earlier.

As Gabi struggled to think of an explanation, Nick entered the pub. Gabi rushed over to greet Nick, but before she could warn him that she had made a mistake, Hope innocently asked Nick for a reminder of Gabi's date of conception. Nick reiterated that Gabi was approximately five or six weeks pregnant. Rafe revealed that Gabi had said that she was approximately twelve weeks pregnant, and he demanded to know what was going on.

"I'm sorry. We knew this was a long shot. This -- it's not gonna work. We've gotta tell 'em the truth," Nick told Gabi. Assuming that Nick was about to reveal the truth about the baby's paternity, Gabi begged him to reconsider. Ignoring Gabi's request, Nick admitted that she was approximately twelve weeks pregnant. Nick claimed that he had lied because Gabi had been afraid that people would judge her if they knew the truth.

"Gabi and I...got together...a lot sooner than everybody thought," Nick quickly added. Rafe incredulously summarized that Nick and Gabi had slept together right after they had met each other. "You didn't know squat about this guy. Wait -- actually, I do take that back, because you knew that he was a convicted murderer out on parole. Did that sound like a winner to you?" Rafe asked Gabi.

Hope and Sami tried to stop Rafe, but he ignored them. Rafe accused Nick of taking advantage of Gabi. Nick tried to deny the accusation, but Rafe warned him not to say another word. Hope interrupted and defended Nick and Gabi, observing that the couple seemed to be in love with each other. Hope added that Nick had never tried to end the relationship after he had found out about the baby, and Gabi confirmed Hope's statement.

Nick apologized for lying about the timing of the pregnancy, adding that the only thing that really mattered was that he loved Gabi and the baby. Sami tried to get Rafe to agree to focus on the wedding plans, but he shook his head and abruptly exited the pub. Sami suggested that it might be best to finish planning the wedding on a different day. Hope, Nick, and Gabi agreed, and Sami excused herself so that she could try to talk to Rafe.

After Sami left, Hope wondered if Gabi and Nick were certain that they were ready to get married. Nick and Gabi insisted that they were doing exactly what they wanted to do, and Hope reluctantly hugged them as she promised that their wedding would be memorable.

Later, outside the Brady Pub, Nick wondered why Gabi had told Sami, Hope, and Rafe the truth about the baby's date of conception. Gabi admitted that the information had simply slipped out of her mouth. Gabi started to apologize, but Nick assured her that he wasn't upset. Nick added that the silver lining was that he and Gabi would no longer be forced to one day convince everyone that the baby had been born prematurely.

Gabi said that she was surprised that Rafe had refrained from hitting Nick. Nick assured Gabi that he would always be willing to take a punch for her. Gabi admitted that Rafe's look of disappointment had cut her like a knife. Gabi reminded Nick that they would soon be forced to lie about the baby in front of a priest and God. Nick kissed Gabi and promised that the situation would eventually get easier.

At the Horton Town Square, Sami greeted Rafe, who wondered how she had managed to find him. Sami joked that she had followed the trail of steam that had been spilling out of Rafe's ears. Rafe sighed and predicted that he would have made things worse if he had stayed at the pub, adding that he had barely managed to resist the urge to punch Nick in the face. Sami agreed that assaulting Nick would have made the situation worse.

Rafe wondered what Gabi had been thinking when she had decided to sleep with Nick right after she had met him. Sami theorized that Gabi had probably not been thinking at that time, but that failed to comfort Rafe. Sami added that the most important thing was that Nick and Gabi were in love with each other.

"So what? That's not enough, Sami, okay? Love doesn't necessarily make a marriage work -- I mean, we ought to know that," Rafe countered. Rafe quickly apologized, but Sami admitted that he was right -- no one could guarantee that Nick and Gabi's marriage would last. Sami added that Gabi and Nick loved each other, were excited about the baby, and didn't have a lot of baggage -- three advantages that might help them beat the odds.

Rafe shrugged and conceded that Sami might be right. Rafe said that he wasn't trying to make things harder for Gabi and Nick, adding that he hoped that the couple's relationship would last. "It would...be nice to see love work out for someone," Rafe quietly stated. Sami sighed as Rafe walked away.

At Common Grounds, Will greeted Sonny, who was cleaning one of the tables. Will explained that he had heard that Sonny had talked to Gabi earlier. Sonny confirmed that a conversation had taken place, but he didn't bother to elaborate. Will encouraged Sonny to make an effort to say something nice to Gabi during their next encounter, adding that she had reached the conclusion that Sonny no longer liked her.

"Well, she's right -- I don't. She's a liar and a user," Sonny matter-of-factly stated. Will recalled that Sonny had previously warned him not to trust Gabi, and he assumed that Chad had managed to convince Sonny that Gabi was a horrible person. Sonny insisted that he had formed his own opinion of Gabi, citing the way that she had pulled Will into her baby drama as one of the main reasons that she couldn't be trusted.

Sonny said that Will was a good person who deserved a better friend than Gabi. "Well, we -- you know, we have the friends that we have," Will replied with a shrug. Sonny shook his head and pointed out that friends, unlike family members, could be chosen. "You should drop a friend when they don't deserve your loyalty anymore. Cut the cord, Will -- lose Gabi's number, get away from her...and never look back," Sonny advised Will.

Stunned, Will wondered if he was being ordered to stay away from Gabi. Sonny sighed and apologized, insisting that he hadn't meant for his advice to sound like an order. Sonny started to explain that he was simply worried about Will, but Will interrupted him. Will defended Gabi, firmly stating that she was a good person who had remained loyal to him despite the fact that he had treated her poorly in the past.

Will added that Gabi was Sonny's biggest fan, recalling that she had always been supportive of Will and Sonny's relationship. "Yeah, I mean, you have a lot of history between you two -- I get that, all right? But sometimes, you know, especially when you're close to someone...you don't see the changes. You might think you know them, but you really don't," Sonny said.

"Mm-hmm. Oh, yeah, I hate it when that happens," Will pointedly replied, sighing as he abruptly exited the coffeehouse. Later, Sami entered Common Grounds and ordered a cup of coffee. After a brief conversation about the holidays, Sami mentioned Gabi's wedding and invited Sonny to be an usher. "Hell no," Sonny bluntly stated.

Sonny claimed that he wasn't a big fan of weddings, and he added that he didn't really know Gabi and Nick very well. Sonny's reaction surprised Sami, who tried to change his mind. Sonny reiterated that he wasn't interested, insisting that it would be best for him to stay out of the wedding. Before Sami could respond, Sonny abruptly walked away.

Later, at the Horton Town Square, Rafe spotted Will, who was working on a college assignment. Rafe said that he wanted to talk to Will about Gabi's recent trip to the abortion clinic. Will suggested that it would be better for Rafe to talk to Gabi about everything that had happened that day. Rafe said that he had already tried to talk to Gabi and Nick earlier, adding that he had learned the truth.

With a heavy sigh, Will closed his notebook. "Okay...you must be angry...and nobody planned for this to happen...and it was stupid not to think about the -- the possible consequences," Will hesitantly stated. Rafe interrupted and insisted that Gabi had shown poor judgment, adding that she should have taken a moment to think about who her sexual partner really was.

Will assured Rafe that Gabi had been with a man who really cared about her. "You think so? Well, how well do you really know your cousin anymore? I mean, he was a teenager last time you saw him, right? I mean, he gets out of prison -- he's out of prison one day -- one day, and he ends up sleeping with my sister? Great. Now, cut to three months later -- she's pregnant, they're getting married," Rafe said with a sigh.

Will sighed as he realized that he and Rafe had been talking about two entirely different versions of the truth. Will noncommittally stated that the situation was unfortunate and intense. Rafe wondered if Will had known that Gabi had been in trouble. Will confirmed that Gabi had talked to him about the pregnancy, but he added that she hadn't started dating Nick in response to some sort of crisis.

Will assured Rafe that Gabi was in love with Nick. Unconvinced, Rafe wondered if Gabi had asked Will to take her to the abortion clinic because she had been worried about disappointing Rafe. Will shook his head and explained that Gabi had gone to the abortion clinic because she had temporarily convinced herself that it would be best to terminate the pregnancy.

Rafe wondered why Gabi hadn't talked to him about her concerns before making that decision. Will shrugged and pointed out that Rafe was Gabi's big brother. Will said that some things were easier to talk about with friends, and Rafe reluctantly agreed. Rafe apologized for the way that he had treated Will when he had learned that Will had taken Gabi to the abortion clinic, adding that she was lucky to have Will as a friend.

Rafe excused himself, and Will sighed heavily as he watched Rafe walk away.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rafe entered the Brady Pub and asked Gabi about Nick's whereabouts. Gabi assumed that Rafe only wanted to hassle Nick some more, but Rafe assured her that he really wanted to talk to Gabi -- to apologize. Rafe confessed that after talking with Sami, he realized that he had overreacted when he'd learned how far along Gabi's pregnancy really was -- and he was very sorry.

Rafe explained that he understood why, after everything that had happened with Andrew, Gabi had perhaps made some ill-advised decisions. Gabi hugged her brother gratefully. Rafe reassured her that he was not disappointed in her, but he wanted to know if she were sure about everything. Gabi earnestly maintained that she in love with Nick because he was kind, gentle, and loving, and he wanted to be with her and raise their baby together. "Sold," Rafe said with a smile.

As Sami entered E.J.'s office, she stopped, stunned, when she saw the multitude of Christmas gifts all over his office. E.J. explained that people had sent them to the children via him in an effort to butter him up. Sami cautioned E.J. that the sitter was about to drop Johnny and Sydney off. E.J. informed her that he wasn't going to let the children have the gifts because he didn't want them thinking that Christmas was only about getting things -- and he'd already been discussing what to do about the gifts, which had been arriving since Thanksgiving, with Sydney and Johnny.

As E.J. was pointing out that Johnny and Sydney had more than enough without accepting gifts from complete strangers, suddenly the children burst through the door with the babysitter chasing after them. The kids eyed the huge piles of gifts excitedly, but E.J. reminded them that they had agreed to take all the presents to the toy drive for needy children in Horton Square. Sami agreed to accompany the children and her ex to drop off the gifts.

Soon, the gift-laden group arrived in the square with Johnny and Sydney leading the way to the Toys for Tots booth. The woman working the booth looked up in amazement as she saw what the family was delivering. She thanked them effusively for their generosity, and gushed that they were going to make a lot of children very happy. The Marine in full dress uniform also thanked them, and bent down to give Johnny a high five. "Daddy, this feels great!" Johnny declared. Sami beamed proudly as her children handed over their load of gifts.

Rafe arrived just then, and he and Sami spotted each other from across the square. Rafe went over to say hello, and Sami explained what was going on with the gifts -- and that it had been E.J.'s idea. As soon as Johnny and Sydney saw Rafe, they ran over to give him a big hug. Rafe declared that he was very proud of them for giving the presents away.

E.J. then explained that the toy drive usually only accepted unwrapped gifts, so they were going to have to unwrap everything, determine the appropriate age and gender for each present, and then rewrap them all. Rafe commended E.J. on his magnanimous gesture, and then said goodbye to the kids. Before Rafe left, E.J. extended his best wishes about Gabi's wedding plans. E.J. wandered back over to the booth to help start unwrapping the gifts.

When Rafe heard Sami say that she still had presents in the car to retrieve, he offered to help, but she politely declined. The two headed off in opposite directions.

A little later, Gabi was surprised when she exited the rectory at St. Luke's and found Rafe waiting for her. He explained that he'd remembered about her Pre-Cana class so he'd stopped by to see how it had gone. Gabi explained that Nick was still finishing his questionnaire, although she'd already finished hers. She added that Maggie had invited them all over for Christmas Eve dinner, for which the Hernandez siblings would supply the tamales. Rafe happily accepted.

Kristen awakened next to a sleeping Brady in her hotel room and realized that her plan wasn't working as well as she'd hoped, so she decided that it was time to take it to another level. After putting drops in her eyes, Kristen pretended to be having a nightmare. "No! Please don't hurt us!" Kristen cried out. Brady woke up, comforted her, and asked what she'd been dreaming about. Kristen claimed that she couldn't remember, but after some prodding from Brady, she "confessed" that she'd had a bad dream about what could happen if John and Marlena were to find out about Kristen and Brady's relationship.

As Brady and Kristen got dressed, she pointed out that what they were doing was very risky. Brady disagreed, but Kristen anxiously reminded him that they were sneaking around and hiding like two married people having an illicit affair -- and John and Marlena would freak out if they ever found out. Although Brady tried to calm Kristen down, she worried that John would think that the only reason Kristen was with Brady was to drive a wedge between him and his father.

Brady promised that he would not let John or Marlena find out about it -- at least until Brady and Kristen figured out where they were headed. If their relationship became serious, then John and Marlena would have to accept it. Brady urged Kristen to figure things out together, since they were both feeling unsure about the same things. Kristen concurred. Brady then announced that he had to leave, but would like to return later. Kristen willingly agreed.

Hope ran into an anxious and pensive Marlena outside Horton Square and asked what was wrong. After swearing Hope to secrecy, Marlena explained that Kristen was having an affair -- with Brady. Marlena was certain that it was true because she'd walked in on the two of them in bed together, and although Brady didn't know that Marlena had seen them, Kristen did. Hope couldn't hide her shock, especially when she learned that Marlena hadn't told John about it.

Marlena asserted that every time she had told John something that Kristen had done, it had backfired on Marlena. She told Hope about deleting the messages on John's phone from Kristen letting him know that Brady was in the hospital. Hope offered to help Marlena with the situation in any way that she could. Marlena mused that what she needed was to figure out if Brady had true feelings for Kristen or if it was just about the sex.

Marlena knew that Hope and Brady were about to meet to discuss the police Christmas benefit, and reminded Hope that Brady had once had a crush on another detective, Sara Coughlin. Before she began to outline her plan, Marlena explained, "If it turns out that Brady's feelings for Kristen are nothing more than physical attraction, then John doesn't have to know about it."

At Common Grounds a bit later, Hope looked over the grant donation forms for the police department benefit from Brady and expressed her awe and gratitude for his generosity. Sara arrived to drop off a file to Hope, who then introduced Brady and Sara. Each remembered having met the other previously. After exchanging a few pleasantries with Brady, Sara left.

Hope reminded Brady that he'd asked her once if Sara were single, and Hope was more than happy to find out for him. She explained that she thought Brady could take Sara as his date to the gala. Brady tried to decline politely, but a smiling Hope gently insisted, "Let me do this for you." Brady cut her off, adamantly declaring that he was not interested in dating or being set up. He apologized if he'd been rude but thanked Hope for thinking of him.

As soon as Brady had gone, Marlena emerged from the back room, where she'd been eavesdropping. "He couldn't have shut you down faster if he'd had a switch," Marlena noted to Hope. Hope concurred that it appeared things were more serious than they'd feared between Brady and Kristen. Hope warned Marlena that John might find out about Kristen and Brady despite Marlena's efforts to keep the truth from him. "And then what will you say to John?" Hope wondered.

Kristen sat in the park outside Horton Square and began composing a text message to Jennifer. She then entered the square, where she found E.J. filling out some forms at the toy donation table. After Kristen hugged her brother, he asked if she were staying out of trouble. "Well, define trouble," she replied coyly.

Sami returned from the car with another huge armload of presents, and spied E.J. and Kristen talking privately with their backs to the donation table. Sami quietly set the gifts down on the table and tried to hear what Kristen and E.J. were talking about. E.J. pressed Kristen for details about what she was up to. "Okay, you win. I'm getting close to someone," she admitted. When E.J. asked to whom, Kristen replied in a singsong voice, "You're not going to like it."

In a waiting room at the hospital, Jennifer declared that she had something important to tell Daniel that couldn't wait any longer. Daniel asked what it was, and Jennifer stalled for time until she could find the right words. She noticed the card sticking out of Daniel's shirt pocket and asked what it was. As he pulled it out to show it to Jennifer, Daniel explained that Kate had given him a Christmas card with Parker's picture on it.

Jennifer and Daniel grinned as they admired the photo of the boy. Daniel revealed that he was handling things regarding Parker differently than he might have in the past, because Jennifer had taught him how important it was to let go. He reminded Jennifer what a difficult time he'd had when he'd learned that he wasn't Parker's father. Daniel continued that Jennifer had shared some of Alice's words of wisdom with him: "It's possible to love someone completely and still know when it's time to step back and just let go."

Daniel thanked Jennifer for helping him realize back then that love wasn't always endless. Daniel then somewhat abruptly declared that it wasn't really the time or place to continue their conversation, urged Jennifer to leave, and hurried out before she could stop him. "What is wrong with me?" Jennifer berated herself as she rushed after Daniel.

Jennifer finally caught up with Daniel at the Brady Pub. Once she'd caught her breath, she asked Daniel to show her the picture of Parker again. She explained that she'd talked to him about letting go because he'd been hurting so much over Chloe and Parker. Jennifer suspected that Daniel had mentioned it again earlier not just because of Parker but because of her, too. She admitted that she really needed to finish telling Daniel what she had to say, even though she was having a difficult time, because if she didn't, it would just make things worse for both of them.

Jennifer then began babbling somewhat nonsensically about saying things wrong, and thinking things clearly one moment but worrying about being too late the next. Once she finally relaxed a little, Jennifer admitted that she knew what Daniel had been waiting for her to say that day in her hospital room. She explained that although she hadn't remembered then what she had had told him in the cabin, her mind had since cleared of all the drugs and anesthesia -- and she'd finally remembered that she'd told him she loved him.

"And you said you loved me, too," Jennifer noted. Daniel reminded her that she'd asked him not to hold her to anything she'd said while sedated. Beaming, Jennifer declared, "But here's the thing: I kind of wish you would... Like starting right now and basically for good." Daniel asked if she were sure, and she assured him that she was positive. Jennifer reiterated, "I love you." The two noticed that they were standing under some mistletoe, so they moved in for a kiss.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

At St. Luke's Eric talked to Father Tobias about his difficulties with the Pre-Cana counseling with Nick and Gabi. Father Tobias suggested that Eric ask a happily married couple to join him in the counseling so that that Nick and Gabi could understand what they were getting into.

With the plan set, Father Tobias asked Eric about his nightmares. Eric admitted that he was still plagued by them, but that he had only talked to another priest about his dreams. When Eric noted that he did not want to burden his family with the reasons for his nightmares, Father Tobias counseled Eric to continue talking to the other priest so that he could work through his pain.

At the Kiriakis mansion, John stopped by to talk to Brady about Kristen. John explained that although he was thankful that Brady had been at Kristen's hotel room when Marlena broke in, he was confused as to why Brady had been there. Brady reluctantly explained that Marlena had taken his phone and texted Kristen. Brady noted that when he had realized what Marlena had done, he marched over to Kristen's hotel room to intervene. John thanked Brady for telling him the truth because he did not want any secrets between them.

"You have nothing else to hide from me," John remarked. Brady informed John that Kristen appeared to have changed and that she had worked tirelessly on the project to raise money for the kids at St. Luke's. John thanked Brady for taking his place on the board and working with Kristen. John noted that he was pleased to hear that Brady and Kristen were getting along well.

At the coffeehouse, Hope theorized that because Brady had turned down a date with Sarah, that indicated he was hung up on Kristen. Hope advised Marlena to tell John about Brady's relationship with Kristen. Marlena noted that Brady was a consenting adult and that she would not interfere. When Hope offered to tell John, Marlena declined the offer. Hope argued that Brady was in mourning and that Kristen had taken advantage of him.

Eric arrived at the coffeehouse and asked to speak to Hope. Marlena excused herself and met up with John at the bar as he arrived. Eric asked Hope if she and Bo would agree to take part in a Pre-Cana screening with an engaged couple. Hope declined and explained that Bo had left town to meet up with Shawn and Belle for Christmas and that she planned on joining them. Eric spotted Marlena and John across the room, and he wished Hope well.

Across the room, John informed Marlena that he was late to meet Marlena because he had met with Brady. When John explained that he was anxious because of what he had learned about Brady and Kristen, Marlena's face fell in relief. When Marlena asked if John was okay with Brady and Kristen's relationship, John noted that it was fine. Marlena explained that she had known about the relationship but that she had not felt it was her place to inform John.

Confused, John reminded Marlena that he had informed her about Brady's working relationship with Kristen on St. Luke's board. Backpedaling, Marlena agreed and said that she had forgotten that John had already told her about Kristen working with Brady at the church.

Eric interrupted to talk to Marlena, and John slipped away to talk to Hope on the other side of the room. John asked Hope about Bo's plans. Hope said that she supported Bo's efforts to pursue Stefano and that she was not worried about her husband.

Eric asked Marlena if she and John would consent to assist him in Pre-Cana counseling for a couple at the church. Reluctant, Marlena declined. When John rejoined them, Eric urged her to reconsider. Marlena and John agreed. After Eric left, John remarked, "Look at everything we've been through, and we are still together. We love each other, and there are no secrets."

In the town square, Kristen told E.J. that she had grown closer to someone. As Sami carried a load of presents to the nearby donation table, she eavesdropped on Kristen and E.J.'s conversation. Kristen said hello to Sami, and she invited her to take part in the conversation. Kristen announced that she had grown closer to her brother Chad. Kristen took E.J. aside, although they were still within earshot of Sami.

Kristen informed E.J. that she was organizing a videoconference with Stefano and that she would like E.J. to take part. When E.J. noted that he would like to join in the chat, Sami was surprised. Sami pulled E.J. aside and reminded him that he was not like Stefano because E.J. was a good father. Johnny and Sydney interrupted the conversation when they ran back from their visit with Santa.

When E.J. introduced Johnny and Sydney to Kristen as their aunt, Johnny asked Kristen if she had children. As Kristen stared, at a loss for words, Sami urged Johnny to join her and Sydney for some cocoa. After Sami left, E.J. asked Kristen how she felt. Kristen noted that it was a waste of time for her to think about having children because she could not have any. Kristen urged E.J. to join his kids, and he left. Kristen stared at the boxes of toys on the donation table, picked one up, and called Brady.

At the Brady Pub, Jennifer told Daniel that she loved him, and they kissed under the mistletoe. As Lucas entered the pub, he was horrified to see his sister Jennifer kissing his old foe. Lucas interrupted Jennifer and Daniel's kiss, and he reminded Jennifer that Daniel had preyed upon Chloe when she was in the hospital. Daniel noted that he would step outside and give Jennifer a chance to talk to Lucas.

Once Daniel was gone, Jennifer told Lucas he was a jerk. Defensive, Lucas claimed that Jennifer was acting like an idiot because she was falling for Daniel. Lucas noted that Daniel followed a destructive pattern of exploiting women in his medical care and using them. Jennifer confided that she was more than friends with Daniel, but she refused to specify the nature of her relationship with Daniel. Jennifer accused Lucas of holding a grudge against Daniel and said that Lucas could not move on.

Lucas stressed that Jennifer was overwhelmed by the death of her husband, her jail time due to Nicole's accusation, and now her appendectomy. Lucas pleaded with Jennifer to take some time before making a decision to get involved romantically with Daniel.

"How can you do this to Jack?" Lucas asked. Jennifer gasped. Jennifer noted that what Lucas had said was almost unforgivable. Lucas begged Jennifer to take some time to mourn and not allow herself to become another notch on Daniel's bedpost. Jennifer slapped Lucas.

Outside the pub, Daniel ran into Victor. When Victor pointed out that Daniel appeared to be happy, Victor asked why. Daniel smiled coyly. Victor told Daniel that he was thrilled to learn that Daniel had regained the function of his surgical ability. After commenting on Daniel's heroic surgery on Jennifer at the cabin, Victor noted that he was proud of his godson. Victor added that he hoped Daniel's smile was due to Jennifer. As Daniel gazed into the Brady Pub, he spotted Jennifer slapping Lucas.

Daniel rushed into the pub to check on Jennifer. Jennifer marched outside, and Daniel followed. When Daniel remarked that Lucas had a right to hate him, Jennifer shook her head. Jennifer told Daniel that Lucas had not changed her mind. Jennifer noted that since she and Daniel were incapable of caring for themselves, then they should agree to take care of one another. Daniel smiled as his phone rang, and he thanked Jennifer for getting him back into the surgical rotation at the hospital.

Jennifer invited Daniel to join her for the Horton family Christmas. Daniel agreed, and he asked Jennifer to spend Christmas morning with him and Maggie while they video-chatted with Melanie. Smiling, Jennifer said that she expected it to be a merry Christmas.

Daniel went to work at the hospital and ran into Hope. When Hope thanked Daniel for saving Jennifer's life, Daniel asked her if she would be at the Horton family Christmas. Hope explained that she was going to meet up with Bo, Shawn, and Belle instead. Smiling, Hope guessed that Jennifer had invited Daniel to the Horton Christmas festivities.

In the town square, E.J. and Sami drank coffee and discussed Stefano. E.J. stressed that he would not leave his family. Sami argued that since Stefano had left town, E.J. appeared to be happy. E.J. countered that he was happy because he had been spending time with Sami and the children. Sami added that the time E.J. spent with his children was time not spent with Stefano, plotting against the world.

"I'm hoping that you're gonna invite me over on Christmas Eve so we can stand around the piano. Maybe I can stand next to the woman who tried to murder my mother, wondering if she's poisoned my eggnog, and we can all sing Christmas carols together and maybe let her tuck the kids into bed. Visions of sugar plums as she helps them go to sleep, telling tales of her time in the big house," Sami joked about Kristen.

Smiling, E.J. quietly said that he would not abandon the DiMera family but that he would "abandon their ways." E.J. noted that people that loved him would accept that he was a DiMera. E.J. added that he was happy not only because of Sami and the children, but also because he had stopped blaming other people for his mistakes. Nodding, E.J. remarked that Sami had changed as well. As E.J. stared into Sami's eyes, he was hit in the chest by a rubber ball Johnny had thrown. Laughing, E.J. chased his son as Sami looked on.

Brady went to the Kristen's room at the Salem Inn when she called him. Brady told Kristen that he wanted them to be exclusive. Shaking her head, Kristen remarked that Brady did not have all the information he needed to make that decision. Across the room, Brady spotted a present and rushed to open it. When Brady opened the box, he found a toy truck inside. Kristen started to cry, and she explained that she had seen the toy at the donation table, and she had taken it.

Kristen reminded Brady that she could not have kids and that he should keep his dating options open. Brady countered to Kristen that adoption was always an option and that they should not think about kids so early in their relationship. Kissing Kristen, Brady argued that they should not get ahead of themselves. After Brady and Kristen had sex, they stumbled to the door. As Kristen urged Brady to leave, he kissed her and opened the door. In the hallway was Jennifer, who was shocked to see that Brady and Kristen were half-dressed and locking lips.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012
by Mike

In Kristen's hotel room, Jennifer awkwardly greeted Kristen and Brady. "I didn't mean to interrupt anything. You just sent me a really sweet text, so I just wanted to come by and see who you were -- how you were doing," Jennifer told Kristen.

Jennifer quickly walked away, ignoring Kristen's attempts to explain the situation. After assuring Kristen that everything was going to be all right, Brady chased after Jennifer. Brady followed Jennifer to the Horton house, but she insisted that she didn't want to talk about what she had witnessed earlier. Brady asked Jennifer to promise that she wouldn't say anything to anyone.

Jennifer assured Brady that no one would believe her anyway. Jennifer assumed that Brady was embarrassed about the tryst, but he insisted that she was wrong, adding that he and Kristen were a couple. Jennifer wondered why Brady had neglected to inform her that he had recently received a lobotomy. Jennifer quickly summarized Kristen's list of misdeeds, but Brady firmly stated that Kristen had changed.

Jennifer wasn't convinced, and she wondered why Brady was afraid to tell John and Marlena about the relationship. Brady reasoned that it would be best to wait until he was certain that the relationship was going to last. Jennifer predicted that Brady was going to end up hurting Marlena and John. Jennifer said that Brady was also going to hurt himself, adding that Madison's sudden death had left him vulnerable.

Jennifer believed that Brady and Kristen's relationship was moving too quickly, but he insisted that he wasn't on a timetable. Brady said that Kristen had made him feel alive again, and he wondered if Jennifer could understand that. Jennifer thought about Daniel and reluctantly agreed to keep Brady's secret, stressing that she could change her mind if she later decided that he was heading down a self-destructive path.

At the Horton Town Square, Hope received a phone call from Bo, who guessed that she was probably shopping for some last-minute holiday gifts for everyone. Hope laughed as she confirmed Bo's suspicion, happily acknowledging that he knew her very well. Hope assured Bo that she and Ciara would soon be joining him, Shawn, Belle, and Claire for the holidays. Hope cryptically added that she wanted Bo to be careful.

Later, Kristen approached Hope and handed her a gift bag, explaining that Hope had dropped it earlier. Hope thanked Kristen, who was glad that she had finally managed to bump into Hope. Hope dryly stated that Kristen had probably been more concerned about bumping into John. Kristen observed that Hope had obviously been talking to Marlena.

Hope shrugged and said that Kristen's return had been less than pleasant for a lot of people. Kristen confidently replied that some people had actually been happy to see her. Hope nodded and said that she had heard the same thing, and Kristen asked her to elaborate. Hope clarified that Sami had revealed that Kristen had bonded with E.J. and Chad.

Hope checked her watch, vaguely stated that she was going to be late for something, and abruptly excused herself. Kristen forced a smile and watched as Hope exited the town square. "Bitch. I have a feeling you weren't talking about my brothers, Hope. I wonder if Marlena told you about Brady," Kristen muttered before walking away.

Later, at the Horton house, Kristen tried to talk to Jennifer about what had happened earlier. Jennifer revealed that Brady had already convinced her that his feelings for Kristen were genuine. Kristen guessed that Jennifer was still skeptical about Kristen's feelings for Brady. Jennifer admitted that she didn't know what to think about Kristen, who had never shown much concern for other people's feelings in the past.

Jennifer pointed out that Kristen's relationship with Brady could end up hurting him, John, and Marlena. Kristen tearfully stated that she wasn't interested in hurting John or Marlena, adding that her feelings for Brady were real. Kristen insisted that she had moved on and was no longer obsessed with John. Jennifer found it hard to believe that it was just a coincidence that Kristen had moved on to John's son.

Kristen tearfully stated that she was simply grateful that she had been given a second chance. Jennifer agreed that everyone deserved to get a second chance, and she hoped that Kristen's relationship with Brady wouldn't eventually turn into a huge disaster.

Later, after Kristen left, Hope went to the Horton house to deliver the gifts that she had purchased earlier. Hope mentioned her encounter with Kristen, and Jennifer revealed that she had also talked to Kristen a few times. Changing the subject, Jennifer said that she was going to miss Hope during the holidays. Hope promised that she would be with the rest of the family in spirit.

Hope revealed that she had learned that Daniel would be spending the holidays at the Horton house. Jennifer coyly reminded Hope that Daniel was Maggie's son. Hope grinned knowingly, stating that someone else had given her that same explanation earlier that day. Hope hugged Jennifer and said that she simply wanted Jennifer to be happy.

At the Horton Town Square, Brady placed a phone call to Kristen. Brady said that he was certain that Jennifer wouldn't say anything to anyone, but Kristen claimed that she was still worried. Brady arranged to meet Kristen later that day, and she reminded him to use the back staircase to enter the hotel.

Brady hoped that he and Kristen would eventually be able to stop sneaking around. "It might be a lot sooner than you think. Marlena knows, and...Jennifer knows. Pretty sure Hope knows. Just a matter of time before John knows, which means...there's a lot to do before that happens, starting with Christmas Eve," Kristen muttered after ending the call.

At St. Luke's, Eric met with Gabi and Nick to discuss the questionnaires that they had each filled out earlier. Focusing on one particular question, Eric noted that Gabi had said that Nick had never angered her, while Nick's response to the same question had been that Gabi's lies had angered him. Eric observed that honesty seemed to be an issue that the couple needed to work on.

Nick started to get defensive, calling the questionnaire a trap, but he quickly regained his composure. In an attempt to placate Eric, Nick claimed that he had been referring to Gabi's decision to tell someone else about the baby before she had told Nick. Following Nick's lead, Gabi apologized for hurting his feelings, adding that she had not been thinking clearly at that time.

Eric smiled as he listened to the conversation, seemingly pleased with the couple's ability to settle their differences. A short time later, Eric excused himself so that he could make a quick phone call. After Eric left, Gabi admitted that she was sick of lying to everyone. Nick reasoned that the lies were being told to protect the baby, which made them justifiable.

Eric returned and introduced the married couple who would be counseling Gabi and Nick. Nick and Gabi were shocked to learn that John and Marlena were the married couple. Eric excused himself so that the couples could have some privacy. After Eric left, John and Marlena quickly made it clear that it would be impossible to give Gabi and Nick specific rules that would ensure a perfect marriage.

Marlena insisted that there were no rules, but John disagreed, jokingly citing the rule that stated that the man was always right. "Seriously, there is one guideline you really need to stick to, though, and that's...no secrets. One thing I've learned over the years is...secrets got a real bad way of coming out," John warned Gabi and Nick.

Changing the subject, John wondered why Nick and Gabi had suddenly decided to get married. Nick explained that Gabi was pregnant, quickly adding that they would have eventually gotten married either way. Marlena asked if Gabi's mother was excited about the pregnancy. Gabi hesitantly admitted that she hadn't told her mother about the baby or the wedding.

Gabi speculated that her mother, who had been dealing with some respiratory problems, would not be strong enough to handle the news. Gabi admitted that Dario was also unaware of the situation. Marlena turned her attention to Nick, who credited the Horton family's ability to spread information quickly as the reason that his family had already heard about the wedding.

Nick admitted that his family members had expressed some concerns. Nick acknowledged that the concerns were valid, since he had just been released from prison a few months earlier. "My memory's a little fuzzy from that time. What were you in for?" John asked. Nick hesitantly explained that he had been charged with kidnapping and murder.

Gabi defended Nick, pointing out that Marlena had previously determined that he had changed. Marlena confirmed that she had reached that conclusion when she had talked to Nick a few months earlier. Nick wondered if Marlena had changed her mind. "I didn't say that. I think you could have shown better judgment -- taken this whole thing maybe a little more slowly," Marlena replied.

Later, John and Marlena separated so that they could privately discuss a few things with Nick and Gabi, respectively. After John and Nick left, Marlena wondered why Gabi had only told Rafe about the pregnancy and wedding. "Help me with something -- is it the pregnancy you're ashamed of, or is it Nick?" Marlena bluntly asked.

At the Brady Pub, Lucas placed a phone call to Jennifer, but the call went to voicemail. "Jennifer, it's me. You know you've screwed up when Victor tells you off, so...I am sorry, okay? I'm sorry for what I said. I'm sorry that I ruined your Christmas, and...I want to make it up to you, so just call me back, okay? I'm sorry," Lucas said.

After Lucas ended the call, Will greeted him, observing that the call had sounded unpleasant. Lucas offered a vague explanation about family troubles and quickly changed the subject, asking if Will was going to attend the annual Christmas Eve gathering at the Horton house. Will unenthusiastically confirmed that he would be there.

Lucas sarcastically advised Will to suppress the holiday spirit. "Why don't you ask Sonny to come? Maybe you'll have a better time that way," Lucas suggested. Will found it difficult to believe that Lucas really wanted to include Sonny in the Horton family's holiday celebrations, but Lucas promised that he was being sincere. Will quietly admitted that he didn't think that he and Sonny would be spending the holidays together.

Will explained that he and Sonny had recently had an argument. Lucas was certain that Will and Sonny would be able to repair their relationship if they still loved each other. "I love him. I don't know how he feels about me anymore," Will admitted. Will wondered what Lucas and Sami's first fight had been about. Lucas dryly stated that he and Sami were still having that argument.

Lucas guessed that Will and Sonny, like most new couples, had probably hoped that they would never argue with each other. Lucas assured Will that arguments were an inevitable part of every relationship, adding that believing otherwise was like believing that the Chicago Cubs would one day win the World Series. Will assumed that the same rule applied to the belief that he would like all of Sonny's friends and vice versa.

Lucas nodded and wondered if that was what Will and Sonny's argument had been about. "Well, that's where it started. I'm not sure where it's gonna end," Will said with a sigh. Lucas said that love was like a job -- it was something that required work. Lucas added that it was important for Will and Sonny to listen to each other's opinions without getting upset or angry.

"I can't believe that my dad's giving me boyfriend advice," Will said, smiling uncomfortably. Lucas agreed that the situation was kind of weird, adding that he hoped that his advice would prevent Will from making the same mistakes that Lucas had once made. Will nodded and thanked Lucas, who abruptly excused himself, optimistically stating that he would hopefully see Will and Sonny at the Christmas Eve gathering.

After Lucas left, Will stared at an image of Sonny that had been stored on Will's cell phone. Will recalled the first time that he and Sonny had made love, as well as the first time that Sonny had said that he loved Will. Will shook his head and muttered that he needed to talk to Sonny. As Will started to leave, Eric entered the pub.

Will greeted Eric, who said that he had heard that Will was going to be Nick's best man. Noting that Will seemed like he was in a hurry, Eric started to excuse himself, but Will stopped him. Will wondered if Eric believed that Nick and Gabi were going to be good parents. Eric conceded that Gabi and Nick were young, but he added that Sami had also had Will at a young age.

Eric said that Will had turned out to be a great man, but Will wasn't convinced. Reiterating that Will had seemed like he had been in a hurry earlier, Eric gave Will another opportunity to leave. Will excused himself and abruptly exited the pub. After Will left, Eric muttered that something was obviously bothering Will.

At Common Grounds, Chad was trying to decorate the place, but Sonny wasn't in the mood to help. Sonny sullenly stated that the coffeehouse already looked festive enough, adding that he was sick of Christmas carols. Sonny's attitude surprised Chad, who had assumed that Sonny would have been looking forward to spending his first Christmas with Will.

With a heavy sigh, Sonny admitted that he and Will had recently had an argument. Chad guessed that the fight had been about Gabi. Confirming Chad's suspicion, Sonny explained that he had tried to convince Will to stay away from Gabi, adding that Will had not appreciated the advice.

Sonny conceded that he had probably seemed imperious, since he had not been able to explain why Will needed to stay away from Gabi. Chad stressed that Sonny couldn't tell anyone the truth about Gabi, since doing so could jeopardize Chad's freedom. Sonny promised that he wouldn't reveal Gabi's secret, and Chad apologized for putting Sonny in an awkward situation.

As Chad and Sonny started to decorate a Christmas tree, Sonny changed the subject, theorizing that he had hit some sort of nerve when he had talked to Will earlier. "Look, I know me and Will haven't been dating that long, but I feel like I know him so well...and for him just to blow up and storm off like that? I mean, yeah, I shouldn't have told him to stay away from Gabi, but just to walk out on me? Didn't even want to talk to me -- it's like he couldn't face me," Sonny mused.

Sonny waited for Chad to say that Sonny was overreacting, but Chad admitted that he wasn't sure. Chad wished that he had kept his mouth shut about Gabi, since revealing her secret had inadvertently driven a wedge between Will and Sonny. For the sake of Sonny and Will's relationship, Chad advised that it might be best for Sonny to forget about what Gabi had done to Melanie.

Sonny admitted that it would be difficult to do that, adding that he was worried about what Gabi, who had already stabbed one friend in the back, could do to Will. "Will is loyal to his friends -- more so than I've ever known. Remember that time when I accused him of killing my father, and how quickly he got past that? I mean, you said so yourself -- that's what you like about him, right? Anything that we say about Gabi will not change his mind about her, okay? Anything you say will only come between the two of you, so I think you should, you know, maybe back off. I mean, he's worth it, isn't he?" Chad asked.

Without hesitation, Sonny agreed, adding that he didn't want to change Will. Sonny said that he simply didn't understand why Will was protective of Gabi. Later, as Chad and Sonny finished decorating the Christmas tree, Lucas entered the coffeehouse and remarked that the place looked really festive.

Lucas said that he wanted to talk to Sonny for a moment, so Chad excused himself so that Sonny and Lucas could have some privacy. Lucas explained that he had heard about Will and Sonny's recent argument. "Will told me he walked out, so I'm betting you didn't get a chance to see how torn up inside he was," Lucas added. Sonny wondered why Lucas had decided to reveal that information.

Lucas said that he would hate to see Sonny and Will break up because of one little fight. "I'm, uh -- I'm kind of surprised, you know, 'cause I know you've always been supportive, but I would have thought that you'd be relieved that Will and I are having problems," Sonny admitted. Lucas said that his feelings were irrelevant, adding that what was relevant was Will and Sonny's feelings for each other.

Lucas hoped that Sonny and Will would be able to work things out. Sonny nodded and thanked Lucas, promising that he wouldn't tell Will about the conversation. Lucas started to leave, but he quickly changed his mind. After Lucas acknowledged that it was none of his business, he wondered if Will and Sonny's argument had been about money.

Lucas recalled that Sonny had recently given Will and Gabi some money for a school project. Lucas revealed that he had also given Will some money for the project. Lucas offered to pay Sonny twice as much as Will had originally borrowed, but Sonny assured Lucas that the fight had not been about money. After Lucas left, Sonny remembered that Will had refused to explain why he had needed the money.

Sonny wondered if Chad remembered anything about the day that he had gone to the pub to talk to Gabi. Chad revealed that Nick and Gabi had been having a particularly nasty argument when Chad had arrived. Sonny recalled that Will had also witnessed the argument. Confirming Sonny's recollection, Chad said that he had agreed to leave so that Will could handle the situation.

Chad wondered why Sonny was suddenly interested in that particular incident. Sonny vaguely stated that he was simply curious. Chad nodded skeptically and excused himself so that he could take care of a customer. After Chad left, Sonny sighed as he tried to make sense of the information. "That was the day you asked to borrow money. Nick and Gabi weren't arguing about a school project. What are you hiding from me, Will?" Sonny muttered.

Later, outside Common Grounds, Chad ran into Will. Chad hoped that Will was planning to talk to Sonny. Chad admitted that Sonny wasn't a fun person to work with when Sonny and Will were fighting. After Chad left, Will entered the coffeehouse and greeted Sonny, who was deep in thought at the bar.

"Um, listen...I know that we're not always gonna agree about everything, and I know that we're not always gonna like the same people, and I'm sorry that I got angry, so...you think maybe we can just kind of forget about everything and go -- and go back to normal?" Will nervously asked. Sonny admitted that he wasn't sure if he and Will would be able to do that.

"I figured it all out, Will -- the secret between you, Gabi, and Nick," Sonny announced.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

At Common Grounds, Sonny declared to Will that he had figured out what had happened between Will and Gabi. Sonny explained that the last time he'd seen Will happy had been the first night they were together -- and then Gabi had shown up, wanting to talk to Will alone. After that, something seemed to have been weighing on Will. Sonny guessed that Will had asked to borrow money to help Gabi get an abortion.

After apologizing for not being able to tell Sonny the truth, Will said that he'd taken Gabi to the abortion clinic because she'd asked him to. Sonny agreed that it had been Gabi's decision, but he wished he'd known what he'd been paying for. Will said that he wished he could take it all back. Sonny reassured Will that he understood, and it was all right. He elaborated that he knew that Will and Gabi had been together while Will hadn't been ready to accept being gay, but Gabi obviously still trusted Will because she had turned to him first when she'd found out she was pregnant -- and Will had kept her secret when she'd asked him to.

Sonny didn't think less of Will for that. "So you know everything, and you still don't hate me. You are the single most incredible person I have ever met," a grateful Will asserted. Sonny admitted that he had only been upset because he'd been in the dark, and he wished Will had felt that he could tell Sonny anything. Will assured him that was how he felt. Sonny guessed that Gabi had been afraid that she would lose Nick if he'd found out she was pregnant, but acknowledged that she had obviously been wrong because she and Nick seemed very happy.

"So, I guess we don't have to talk about this anymore," Will said questioningly. Sonny said that he would be happy if they never discussed Gabi. Will then asked if Sonny would like to accompany him to the Horton family Christmas. Sonny was pleasantly surprised to hear that it had been Lucas' idea for Will to invite Sonny. Sonny agreed only if Will promised to go to the Kiriakis family's Greek Christmas, as well. Will accepted and then shared a tender kiss across the table with Sonny.

Nicole was shopping in Horton Square when she ran into Chad. He commented on the large number of shopping bags she was carrying, so she explained that most of them were for one of the parish's needy children. Nicole admitted that some of the gifts were for Sydney, and she asked Chad if he would put the presents under the tree for the tot. Chad didn't reply, so Nicole assumed that he didn't want to help. As Nicole was walking away, Chad offered to show her a picture on his phone of Sydney on Santa's lap.

Beaming, Nicole admired the picture and admitted that she really missed Sydney. Chad promised to find some way to get the gifts to Sydney -- but to keep E.J. from freaking out, it would mean that neither E.J. nor Sydney could know whom they were from. Nicole said that at least she would know that Sydney had gotten the presents, and she thanked Chad sincerely.

Abigail walked up just as Nicole was leaving, and she earnestly thanked Nicole for helping Daniel save Jennifer's life. Nicole insisted that Daniel was the real hero. Abigail noted that it couldn't have been an easy situation for Nicole. Nicole agreed but asserted that she cared enough about Daniel to want him to be happy. She wished Abigail and her family as merry a Christmas as they could have under the circumstances. Abigail returned the sentiment as Nicole turned and left.

Chad expressed his admiration for Abigail's kind words. "She's left with nothing in this mess, and it's hard not to feel just a little bit sorry for her," Abigail said. Chad noticed the wrapped item that Abigail was carrying, and she explained that it was her maid-of-honor dress for Nick and Gabi's wedding. Chad responded sarcastically. Abigail maintained that although she knew that Chad didn't like Gabi anymore, Gabi was Abigail's good friend, and Chad would have to deal with it if he and Abigail were going to start hanging out again.

Chad said that he wished he could tell Abigail why he had such a problem with Gabi, but he just couldn't say anything. He teasingly asked Abigail how ugly the dress was, but she insisted that it was not ugly. Chad asked if Abigail were going to take him up on his offer, and she playfully countered that it didn't sound all that appealing. Abigail joked about the many worse ways one could spend an evening. "What if we had a good time?" Chad countered. Without giving him an answer, Abigail started to leave, but Chad stopped her.

Chad acknowledged that life hadn't been a "picnic" for either of them, especially Abigail, and frankly asked how she was doing. Chad noted that the first Christmas after his mom had died had been the worst. Abigail admitted that when he'd been around, her dad had always made a big deal about every holiday. She added that she wished J.J. were going to be in Salem for Christmas. Chad reassured Abigail that things would get better once she'd gotten through the first Christmas without her dad. Abigail admitted that it helped to hear Chad say that.

At St. Luke's, John met privately with Nick while Marlena talked to Gabi during Nick and Gabi's Pre-Cana conference. Nick admitted that he had never been happier about anything in his life, because he'd known from the moment he'd met Gabi that she was everything he'd been looking for. He explained that although Gabi needed him, she was also very independent, and she made him feel good about himself.

John commented that everything seemed to have happened very quickly between Nick and Gabi. Pacing nervously and watching the door, Nick noted that the Pre-Cana sessions seemed to be designed to convince couples not to get married. John reminded Nick that the church believed that marriages were forever. Nick pointed out that he'd had a prison therapy session with Marlena, and he was worried that she would tell Gabi that he would be a lousy husband and father.

Marlena asked why Gabi had told neither her mother nor Dario about her pregnancy or upcoming wedding. Gabi assured Marlena that she was not ashamed of anything. Gabi added that she really wanted the baby, and she wanted to show Marlena all the sacrifices that Nick was making. Marlena firmly asserted, "It isn't a sacrifice to marry the mother of your child." Shrugging off her poor word choice, Gabi countered, "Nick and I love each other. Isn't that enough?"

Marlena confessed that if Eric had told her whom she would be counseling, she would have refused, since Gabi had once dated Will -- and Marlena knew that the breakup had really hurt Gabi. Gabi insisted that she had understood everything once Will had told her that he was gay. Marlena noted that if Will had returned Gabi's feelings, Gabi and Will might have been the ones in the premarital counseling sessions. Gabi stated that while she respected Marlena and wanted her approval, even if Marlena didn't approve, Nick and Gabi would be just fine.

Gabi continued that no one had ever made her feel the way Nick did, and he loved her just as much as she did him. She explained that she had met Nick at one of the worst times in her life, but from the beginning, he had made her feel like things were going to get better. Marlena asked what Nick had done to make Gabi feel that way. Gabi explained that she had never had to wonder about how Nick felt about her, because he'd always shown her that he loved her. With a grin, Marlena said that she knew exactly what Gabi meant. "I'm pleased to say that I think you're getting married for all the right reasons," Marlena declared. Gabi hugged Marlena gratefully.

Just then, Nick and John returned. Seeing Marlena with her arm around Gabi, John said, "You see? Nothing to worry about."

When Eric stopped by the Brady Pub to visit his grandmother, Caroline lightheartedly accused him of checking up on her, since both Roman and Will had already been by to see her that day. Eric countered that they were just checking to make sure Caroline didn't need backup. "If you don't like it, too bad," he added with a grin. Changing the subject, Caroline expressed her pride that her grandson was leading midnight mass that Christmas.

When Eric stifled a yawn, Caroline worried that he was working too hard. Eric maintained that he had known going into it that being a priest would not be a "cushy job." Caroline observed that Eric seemed different ever since he'd returned from Africa. She acknowledged that he had probably seen some awful things while he'd been there, and Eric admitted that the suffering there was "unimaginable." Caroline reassured her grandson that she would be there if he ever wanted to talk about it. Eric gave her a warm embrace before she returned to the kitchen.

Nicole arrived just after Caroline left and asked if Eric were all right. Eric assured her that he was fine. Nicole confided that her shopping trip for her parish kid had reminded her that it was supposed to have been her first Christmas with her new baby, and of how much she missed Sydney. She added that running into Abigail, who had been very nice, had only reminded Nicole that Jennifer and Daniel would probably be spending Christmas together.

"Sometimes Christmas sucks," Nicole declared. An understanding Eric concurred. Nicole noted that Eric looked "like hell." Eric said it was only because he needed a few more hours in the day to get everything done. Nicole suggested he take a nap, and he agreed that it was a good idea. As Eric left, Nicole's brow furrowed with worry.

Gabi and Nick returned to the Brady Pub after their Pre-Cana conference, and urged Caroline to let them cover the dinner shift so she could get some rest. Caroline admitted that she'd forgotten why Nick and Gabi had been gone, but recalled that she and Shawn had once counseled young couples at the church. Caroline was glad to hear that Nick and Gabi had learned the importance of talking out their problems if they were upset.

Will arrived just then, and Caroline assured him that if he were there to check up on her, she was just fine. Caroline then headed into the kitchen. Will quietly informed Nick and Gabi that he'd been afraid Sonny had figured out that Will was the father of Gabi's baby, but that wasn't the case -- although Sonny had deduced that Will had gotten money for the abortion and had taken Gabi to the clinic.

A little later, Caroline emerged from the kitchen and asked if Nicole knew where Eric had gone. Nicole said that she didn't. An obviously befuddled Caroline returned to the kitchen.

Gabi was worried that Sonny would blab to Chad that she'd almost had an abortion, but Will assured her that Sonny would not talk to anyone. Gabi still fretted that if Sonny had figured things out, Chad might, as well. Nick pointed out that so far no one had figured out that "some gay boy" was really the baby's father. Will flinched when Nick said that, but an oblivious Nick simply headed into the kitchen to help Caroline. "Gay boy?" an incredulous Will asked Gabi.

Chad showed up at Common Grounds and noted that Sonny seemed happier, and guessed that Sonny had worked things out with Will. Chad warned Sonny that he still could not trust Gabi.

John and Marlena walked through the square hand-in-hand until John declared that it was time to split up so they could do their Christmas shopping for one another. He asked if Marlena thought Nick and Gabi would make it. Marlena replied that they were getting married for the right reasons, and that was a good start.

John declared that the session with the kids had made him realize that he and Marlena had been through "the big battles" -- and he was still more in love with her than ever before. Marlena concurred. John expressed his gratitude for how Marlena always listened to whatever was on his mind and would always be honest with him. He kissed his wife tenderly.

In his room at St. Luke's, Eric knelt beside his bed and prayed for God to help him understand and to forgive himself. He undressed to take a nap, but had nightmares about hearing gunfire. Just as Nicole entered Eric's room, he bolted upright in bed, shouting, "No!" Nicole sat on the edge of the bed and tenderly stroked Eric's back. "My God, what is wrong with you?" she asked gently.

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