Rylan got to go home four days later. Home was Nanna's for the time being, due to the custody battle. Because the case was already in progress, the hearing for the transfer of Julie's rights to Rylan to the Macleods didn't take long. Julie was found to be at fault. The judge fell all over himself to correct his horrible misjudgment and reinstated the MacLeod's custody rights. When Jordan found out that Julie had been lying and it was, in fact, Rylan who had been telling the truth, he felt horrible. Duncan had to convince him not to try to turn himself in as an accessory. He assured him that Rylan was fine and would be back to normal in no time. Jordan insisted on paying for what the insurance didn't cover of Rylan's hospital stay. They took the money and put it in Rylan's college fund. She had applied to the University of Illinois as an English major.

A few days after Rylan had officially and legally returned home, they all woke up at five in the morning for the taping of 'Seacouver Sunrise.' They were all in Richie's dressing room when all the good news started coming.

"You have a dressing room!" Rylan squealed excitedly, plopping down on the couch.

"I think I'm gonna puke," Richie whispered swaying a little.

"Hold it in tough guy," Duncan told him putting steadying hands on the boy's shoulders. "You're going to be a star."

"You're not helping, Mac," Richie retorted, starting to turn green.

Duncan's cell phone rang. "Tessa, can you take him?" he asked moving to answer it. "MacLeod."

Tessa led Richie to the couch and sat him next to Rylan. "You're going to be fine. You'll be great. You were born for this," she whispered to him, running her fingers through his hair.

"Geeze, Rich, you look like a diseased Smurf," Rylan laughed.

"Rylan, can you be positive for a while?" Tessa scolded.

"Great news!" Duncan announced.

"Show's canceled?" Richie asked hopefully.

"No, the divorce went through. Brad got full custody. Julie's out of the picture."

"Good. Those kids are really cute," Rylan smiled. "They deserve better."

There was a knock on the door. "Mr. Ryan you're needed in make-up," the stage manager said as he opened the door. "You folks should get to your seats."

Tessa passed a still slightly green Richie off to the stage manager who led him down the hall. "You're all set up on the b-stage for your song. The band is warmed up and rehearsed. You'll have time to do a run through before you go on. We need to get you micced.." His voice faded away.

Rylan started giggling as she, Duncan and Tessa took their seats.

"What are you laughing about?" Duncan asked starting to laugh himself. Rylan's giggle was contagious.

"Richie's in make-up!" she chortled. "I don't even wear make-up. and I'm a girl!"

"I have some lipstick that would go great with his coloring," Tessa said thoughtfully, before giggling as well.

"Let's just hope this doesn't become a habit for him," Duncan added. "He takes long enough to get ready as it is."

A few minutes after that the taping began. The hosts talked about the headlines and the upcoming features. Richie was the half-hour hook. He was to perform before the half-time break and the interview was meant to keep the viewers from changing to a different show.

"Now we'd like to introduce you to Seacouver's newest rising star," the female host smiled at the camera. "Eighteen year old Richie Ryan is a Seacouver native who writes all his own songs. Richie has a sound all of his own that has been pleasing audiences all over town. Now here's hometown hunk, Richie Ryan, with his latest creative effort 'The Young and The Hopeless'."

The lights went up on Richie, center stage, pale, and frightened. The back up band started and Richie just stood there staring at the camera. The band continued to vamp the first few bars waiting for Richie start up as well.

"Oh, Rich," Rylan groaned. "He's freezing up there!"

"Give him a minute," Duncan assured her.

Sure enough after a couple more seconds Richie blinked himself out of his stupor. "Sorry," he said into the microphone. "I've never done this before." The audience murmured their acceptance of his excuse. "But I'm okay now, shocks gone, urge to faint leaving." a small laugh rippled through the crowd. Richie smiled. "I'm gonna sing now."

The band started back up and Richie joined in.

"Hard days made me Hard nights shaped me I don't know they somehow saved me And I know I'm making something out of this life they called nothing

I take what I want Take what I need You say its wrong But it's right for me

I won't look down Won't say I'm sorry I know that only God can judge me

And if I make it through today Will tomorrow be the same? Am I just running in place? And if I stumble and I fall Should I get up and carry on Or will it all just be the same?

'Cause I'm young and I'm hopeless I'm lost and I know this I'm going nowhere fast that's what they say I'm troublesome I'm fallen I'm angry at my father It's me against this world and I don't care.."

Richie's interview went off well and it was obvious the audience was sad to see him go. The next week was full of great news. Rylan was officially adopted and Richie signed a record contract all on the same day.

Julie went on trial and was convicted on all charges. Rylan, Richie, Duncan, Tessa, Brad, Jordan, and Nanna all testified against Julie, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with the chance of parole after eight, court ordered counseling, child support for Mika, Tamara, and Rylan; which, most likely, wouldn't get fully paid, but hopefully would help the children after Julie was released from jail. Finally, a restraining order that prevented her from seeing Rylan or ever having access to her money. All in all, the summer ended well.

Rylan spent one weekend a month at Nanna's. Richie's career was still in the starting phase, so he had one gig after another and ended up on a tour around the country. He was in Maine when he got the news that Rylan was accepted to the University of Illinois. All the rough times were behind them. They were a family. Duncan and Tessa were two proud parents watching their children achieve their dreams.

AN: 'The Young and The Hopeless' is by Good Charlotte. This is the end. No more Rylan stories shall pass my lips for a long time. But if any of you come up with ideas, feel free to write them. Rylan, Julie, and RockStar Richie are available to be borrowed. All I ask is that you e-mail me to tell me you're going to write one and then tell me when and where it's posted. Also, please make proper acknowledgements in your disclaimers. I am more than happy to provide anyone with background info on my OCs and a time line of events as they happen in my universe. Thanks for being such great readers and special thanks goes out to my wonderful, fantastic beta reader, Lori! She's the bestest ever!