Disclaimer: I don't own Monk. I just down the storyline and the plot


Julie came into the house smiling. She was incredibly excited.

"Mom," she said, "Guess what? I got the lead in my school play?"

"Congratulations Julie," Natalie told her, "I'm so proud of you"

"For getting the lead," Monk asked coming out of the bathroom.

"Hi Mr. Monk," she said, "I actually did get the lead in the school play. Guess what it's about?"

"Vacuum cleaners," he guessed.

Julie laughed.

"No. It's actually about you"

"About me? Cool. So you'll be playing me?"

"No," Julie said, "My friend David is playing you."

She paused. She handed him the cast list. She was actually playing Trudy's part.

"Julie that's fantastic," he told her.

"Thanks," she said, "Oh you'll be at the play right?"

He hugged her.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world," he said, "and you'll be perfect in the role. I'll make sure of that," he promised her.

"Um… thanks," she said.

She wasn't going to argue that. He was her best friend.

"Mr. Monk," Natalie said gently, "You do realize that she's just playing the role right? In other words she's only playing Trudy. She's not going to actually turn INTO Trudy"

"Do I look like an idiot," Monk asked lightly, "Of course I know that"

"How about we order some pizza," Julie suggested, "I'm starved"

"Sounds good to me," Natalie said, "Mr. Monk do you want to stay for dinner?"

"I would love to," Monk said with a smile.

Julie went to order the pizza. Natalie turned to Monk with a smile.

"Mr. Monk," she said, "I want you to know something. I appreciate you and I appreciate your friendship. I appreciate how you were there for me when I needed you. That means a lot to me"

"Natalie," Monk began

"I'm serious," she said, "You've always been there for me. With Julie getting the lead and everything it made me think back to the time—3 years ago. She wouldn't have been here today if it weren't for you."

"It was my pleasure," Monk said, "I was hardly going to hog the boat for myself when Julie didn't know how to swim"

"Huh," Natalie asked.

"Need comes before want," Monk explained, "and Julie had a need whereas I had a want."

Three years ago, Monk had been given a gift by an angel. He was allowed to go back and save one person who had passed away. The catch was he had to wait 45 days to do so. Natalie knew about his gift and she was very happy for him—until she found out Julie's leukemia had returned.

((Flashback))

"DAMN," Natalie said upset coming into Monk's house and slamming the door, "DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!"

Monk could tell that his friend was upset.

i"Natalie," he said, "You seem upset. You're getting anger all over my floor and I just mopped it"

He said that in an attempt to get her to smile.

"You can't get anger over someone's floor," Natalie said.

Hesitantly and with discomfort Monk put an arm around Natalie.

"What's wrong Natalie," he asked gently.

"I… just found out some horrible news"

"The number 10 has been outlawed," he asked in horror.

Natalie rolled her eyes.

"No," she said, "Julie's leukemia is back"

With that she burst into tears. Julie was at school and didn't even know the results of her blood test.

"Oh GOD," Monk said, "I am so sorry Natalie"

"The doctor," Natalie sobbed, "Told me without a bone marrow transplant she has less than a year to live"

"So can't she just get a bone marrow transplant?"

"It's not that simple," Natalie said, "she has a very rare bone marrow type. Mitch was the only match. The doctor explained that there was some kind of genetic mutation with Mitch that made his bone marrow one of a kind. Julie had the same kind of genetic mutation when she was developing."

Monk felt as if his stomach was turning into ice. He knew he could fix this problem. The gift that the angel gave him would fix this problem. He could bring Mitch back. There was a major part of him however that was thinking how unfair this was. He finally had a chance to save Trudy. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I can't lose Julie," Natalie whispered interrupting his train of thought.

She hadn't been aware that she had spoken that out loud.

"You won't," Monk said gently, "She… she'll get the transplant"

'What am I saying,' Monk thought to himself.

"Mr. Monk I told you that's impossible. Mitch would have to be alive."

"I know," he said… his voice thick, "and you know about the gift I had been given"

"The gift that the angel gave you," Natalie exclaimed

"That would be the one," he said, "You see with Mitch back Julie will be able to have the transplant. With Julie having the transplant she will recover. It's the only thing to do. It's what Trudy would do"

Natalie's eyes couldn't have gotten any bigger without falling out of her head. She hugged Monk tightly. He didn't even pull away.

((Flashback end))

Mitch lived 2 ½ years and then passed on six months ago in a car accident. It had been really hard for Natalie and for Julie but they picked up as best they could and moved forward.

Fate had been kind to Adrian Monk. A week ago the same angel had given him the same gift. He was ecstatic. Finally he would have the opportunity to go back and save Trudy. Adrian, the famous detective should have known that life is never simple.

"Hey," he said to Julie, "Can I come to the rehearsals?"

"Sure," Julie said, "The play director is fine with that. I don't think you're going to want to come to tomorrow's rehearsal though. We're doing 'that scene'."

"That scene? Which scene is that scene," he asked dumbly.

"It's the scene that you don't want to see more than once… or even once for that matter."

He winced.

"Yeah," he said, "You're right. I'll probably skip that rehearsal."

Monk knew that she was talking about the bombing scene. Even thinking about it terrified him.

He took comfort in knowing that he would have her back soon. That's what he told himself anyway.

"Mom," Julie asked, "How do you think I would look in the diamond skirt with the blue sweater?"

They were talking about Julie's costume.

"What are you talking about," Monk asked coming into the house.

"We're talking about Julie's costume," Natalie said.

"I was thinking maybe the diamond skirt with the blue sweater would look great for the costume," Julie explained.

"You don't want to wear the blue sweater with the diamond skirt," Monk said, "The green sweater is much better with the diamond skirt. But why don't you wear something authentic?"

"Authentic?"

"Yeah," Monk said, "I have all of Trudy's clothes in a box in storage. You two were about the same size. I bet it would look great on you."

Natalie's jaw dropped to the floor.

"Are you serious," she asked him.

"I'm very serious," Monk said.

Monk saw the look in Natalie's eyes. No words were spoken but a lot was said. It was a look of gratitude. It was a look of appreciation. It was a look of unspoken words. It was a look of questions.

"Oh my gosh," Julie said as the box was brought up, "Is that a real pearl necklace?"

"You have a good eye Julie," Monk said smiling, "Yes it was a real pearl necklace and it still is a real pearl necklace."

He put the necklace around her neck.

"You look fantastic," he told her.

She smiled gratefully at him.

"Could I wear it in the show," she asked.

"Of course," he said.

She picked out 3 of her favorite outfits and tried them on. Naturally it fit her. She picked those outfits.

Monk came to the opening of the show. It seemed to go very smoothly. They had changed the play from reality and how it really happened. Julie's character would get to live.

"Can I share something with you that I wrote," 'Trudy' (Julie) asked 'Adrian' (David).

"I would love to hear it," he said

"Here is a word I have heard many times in my life. It's a word that pretty much everyone has heard but I must have heard it at least 3 times a day. It is a simple word and at the same time it is complex. Understand."

"Honey what's so complicated about the word, understand?"

"How can you be so sure a person does understand? They may say that they do! They may even believe that they do. The question though is, do they really understand?"

Julie continued her speech flawlessly. Adrian actually felt as if it was Trudy reading that article. He felt so proud of Julie. Then was the scene that he didn't want to see even once. Natalie squeezed his hand.

"It's not real," she whispered to him.

Julie opened the prop car and turned the key. That was when it happened. The bomb went off. Someone had planted a REAL BOMB in the prop car. Julie fell on the floor. She was unconscious. She was bleeding like hell. She was still alive. iiMonk froze. Natalie jumped up beside him, terrified. The director of the play hurried to close the curtains as a scream rang out.

The director yelled for someone to call 9-11 which was quickly done. In minutes the sound of sirens filled the air. People, ambulance workers, Natalie, Jump bags and a stretcher were all rushed by Monk who just sat there frozen like a statue. It was only after all the playgoers had been removed into another room but not released for questioning purposes that he snapped out of it.

"JULIE," Monk screamed shooting up from his seat in the third row.

By the time they reached the hospital Natalie is about to lose her mind. Monk knew this was not going to end well. Either something would be damaged beyond repair and would need to be fixed or Julie would die from this. Natalie was rambling. Monk only half heard her. He squeezed her hand supportively and comfortingly told her it would be alright. Inside he was groaning not again. This couldn't be happening again. It wasn't fair. Why is this happening again? But he forced himself to remain calm.

He couldn't think of himself now, not when Julie's life hung in the balance. Natalie was pacing the waiting room like a caged tiger ready to pounce. He hoped everything would be alright but Adrian Monk was not stupid. This could kill her. She lost some limbs from the explosion; her right hand and 2 fingers on her left hand. The paramedics had frozen the limbs in hopes of being able to reattach it but there was more internal damage then external. Julie was at the moment on life support. She couldn't breathe on her own. The doctor came out and pulled Natalie aside. Monk tried to eavesdrop on the conversation but Leland held him back.

"Monk you will know what's going on soon enough," he pointed out.

"It's happening again," Monk said, "I'm so frightened!"

"What are you going to do," Leland asked knowing what he was thinking.

"Well for one thing I'm going to see to it that the SON OF A BITCH that did this to Julie fries and burns in the very pit of hell," Monk said angrily.

"Good idea," Leland replied.

"If something happens to Julie… it's going to tear Natalie apart," Monk said.

Natalie came out, tears filling her eyes.

Oh GOD no, Monk thought to himself

"She's stable," Natalie said hoarsely, "but there was a lot of internal damage. She's going to need a new heart. She's going to need a new liver. She's going to need new kidneys and… oh GOD… she's going to need a bone marrow transplant"

Leland hugged Natalie comfortingly while Monk stroked her hair.

"Is she on the list," Leland asked.

"Yeah. That's not the problem. There was only one person in the world that matched her bone marrow and he's dead. She won't survive without a heart or kidneys and without the bone marrow she won't survive either. Julie is basically dead. She's been moved to the top of the list but the doctor told me without all of them she's dead. They can't even operate until she's been stable for 72 hours because she'd die under the knife."

Without even being aware of it she threw Monk a pleading look. He heard her pleas in that look and followed her as she went into the other room.

He hugged her comfortingly. Then he looked at her for a full minute before speaking.

"Natalie," he said, "Did I let you down the last time?"

"What," she asked him.

"Did. I. Let. You. Down. The. Last. Time?"

"No," she said, "Of course you didn't"

"Exactly," Monk said

She blinked for a second. Her mind was cluttered so it took her a lot longer to figure out what he was talking about. Finally he translated for her.

"The gift I got-"

"You'd really be willing to do that again?"

No, his thoughts screamed.

"Of course," Monk said, "By the way were they able to reattach her limbs?"

"Her hand and one of her fingers," Natalie said, "But her middle finger is gone. There was too much damage.

Julie's heart came in within 3 days. Twelve days later a new kidney came in. Leland was tested and he found out that he had the same liver type as Julie so he donated a nodule of his liver. The bone marrow transplant was successful. Julie recovered. Monk was a little bit sad about the fact that he couldn't restore Trudy again. One day when he was extremely sad about that the angel appeared.

"You did a very good thing," the angel said

"Not exactly," Monk sighed, "I'm sad about the fact that I can't restore Trudy. Doesn't that make me selfish?"

"No," the angel said, "It makes you human"

"So… what makes you come here again," Monk asked.

"I'm here to give you a gift. I'm here to you Trudy back"

"You're here to do what?"

"Behavior like yours is always rewarded Adrian Monk," the angel said with a smile.

i Credit for that line goes to Jesse

ii Thank you to Adorable Elephant for that scene