Quick note: Ted Levine is in Shutter Island, a very small part but he is by far my favorite part of the movie! And how did it take me so long to realize that Molly is Jo from Supernatural?

Chapter Three: Mr. Monk and the Plan

Molly drove Adrian to Natalie's house on her way to work, and explained very quickly about the conversation they had had at breakfast. So quickly in fact that Adrian had very little chance to interject any of his own thoughts. Natalie had much the same reaction as Molly had; she yelped with joy and jumped up from her seat to hug Adrian tightly around the neck.

"Oh Mr. Monk, that's wonderful! I knew it! I knew when she came to see you that you two had feelings for each other! When she and Randy started dating I thought I must have just been crazy, but I wasn't, I knew it!" She hugged him again, and Adrian started to feel that he was rather approaching his limit for physical touch for one day.

"All right, all right," he said, reverting to his shoulder shrugs to restore balance. "But what do I do now?"

Molly chimed in, smiling at her friend. "He has to go see her!"

Natalie clapped excitedly. "Definitely! He should surprise her!"

"Oh, yes! A surprise visit, show up on her doorstep! It's perfect!"

Adrian rolled his eyes, completely unacknowledged by his companions.

"But how can we plan it?" Molly continued. "We have to find out when she's home, and get him there on his own, without her knowing…"

"Well, we could ask Randy, he's still out in New Jersey and he probably could help us, but it seems…"

"Yeah, not very…"

"Benjy," Adrian mumbled, more to himself than the women, as they were paying him no mind.

They did hear him however and leapt at the idea. Molly had to leave for work, but she kissed Adrian's cheek and made him promise to call her when he had any plans. Natalie called Julie at school, who squealed so loudly Adrian could hear her on the phone from across the room. Julie sent Benjy a message on Facebook, who happened to be on the site at that very moment, avoiding his first assignment of the semester, and who started a chat to get the full scoop. He was thrilled to hear about the recent developments, and, he admitted to Julie, not completely surprised. He told her that his mother had Tuesdays off, and gave him the quickest directions from the airport to her house. Mr. Monk would have to take a taxi, but he promised there were plenty of clean ones in New Jersey. Julie repeated this to her mother, who wrote it all down for Adrian, whose head was spinning at the speed of which his previously unrecognized feelings were being recognized by so many people.

He couldn't take it anymore. "Stop, Natalie!"

Natalie turned, her eyes wide. "I'll call you back, sweetie." She flipped her phone shut. Adrian slumped on the sofa, in a classic sulking pose.

"Mr. Monk, what's the matter?"

"This, all this, it's crazy," he moaned. "I say one thing about having feelings for Sharona, and suddenly you've practically booked my flight? And now everyone knows, oh…" He flung an arm over his eyes melodramatically.

"Oh, Mr. Monk, it's not crazy, and it's not just one thing." She sat on the coffee table in front of him, patting his knee to get his attention. She had known him for a long time, and wasn't about to let him talk himself out of something that could make him truly happy. She decided on full disclosure. "Mr. Monk, you know when I first met you, I was convinced you had been involved with your former assistant?" He looked doubtfully at her. "It's true. The way you talked about her, the look that crossed your face when someone mentioned her name."

"How did I look?" His voice was meek.

"You would get this light in your eyes, like you were almost going to smile, and then this flicker of pain would shoot across your face. I didn't understand at first, but I think it was because you kept remembering she was gone, and it hurt you all over again.

"You know, I was so mad at her at first," Natalie moved to sit on the couch next to him. "I couldn't believe how she had left you, just walked away from you, when it was so obvious—in my mind—that you loved her. I really thought that she had walked out of a relationship, not just resigned her job. But after time went on, I thought I must have been making things up, you know? The romantic in me imagining feelings that hadn't been there. But seeing you together when she came to visit? I think that's why I got mad at her," she said, a little embarrassed remembering how catty the two women had acted. "I went right back to being angry at her for breaking your heart."

Natalie reached over and patted his arm. "Mr. Monk, I've known you for a long time now. And I know that you don't do or say anything if you don't mean it. And you certainly wouldn't say something about having feelings for Sharona—or anyone—if it wasn't true, if you didn't really believe in your heart. So I'm going to ask you right now: think. Do you or do you not have feelings for Sharona Fleming?"

He stared intently in her eyes, as if he could find the answer reflected there. He thought about her question, and even more about the questions Sharona had asked the night before, and the questions she had raised in her own mind. And he knew the answer.

He smiled.

"Yes!" Natalie clapped in excitement and refrained from hugging him. "That's why you have to go, Mr. Monk, and don't worry, not everyone knows, and none of the people who do know will say anything, I'll make sure of it. Now let's buy that plane ticket!"