December 9, 1993

Dr. William Foster's POV

William knew that he would see Andrew again. It was only a matter of time. Sometimes, instead of thinking about his daughter, Miranda, or his wife, or even Sophia Jordan, his mind would wrap around the boy that had belonged to his most treasured friend.

Now Dr. Daniel Yablonski was dead, and the only surviving family member was his son, Andrew, who had been two at the time of his father's death.

William wondered how much Andrew had changed. He knew that the boy would have been most likely traumatized by the caretaker and Erin's brother, Mike. The adorable two-year old would be seventeen now. Seventeen and rebellious. William grinned at the thought of his estranged daughter, Miranda, who was around Andrew's age. He hadn't forgotten that it was him that had almost adopted the little Andrew Jason Yablonski before he was snatched away by Uncle Mike.

William imagined Andrew to be like most teenagers. He envisioned his daughter when he thought about the boy. It had been fifteen years since William had seen the boy, and truth be told, he didn't expect to see him for a while.

He didn't expect a troubled seventeen-year old youth with penetrative gunshot wounds in both legs and bleeding blood more than the expected amount.

He didn't expect to see a younger version of Daniel Yablonski pale and shaking with unfocused eyes. Erin's eyes.

No, Dr. William Foster did not expect this.

The first noise Andrew awoke to was beeping. It pounded louder into his head until the teen squeezed his eyes in pain from the nausea. There was erupting pain from both his legs, and Andrew fought the urge to scream. Dizziness added to the confusion and disorientation in his mind, and Andrew squinted his eyes open.

The room was bright. Andrew was surrounded by white walls and through trembling hands he could see the sun shining in the room, making, again, the room too bright for Andrew's liking. He shied his eyes away again and focused his attention downward.

His hands were whiter than the thin sheets that covered the boy's body. Through the transparent sheets, Andrew saw that he was wearing a gown. A sharp prick at his hand told him that the boy was connected to an IV. IV? Andrew thought, suppressing a shake. Where the hell am I? And why does this place smell like alcohol and why does it make my head pound? Thinking about his head pound made the youth collide with the blankets. It seemed that his body sighed with relief at the feel of the ever-lasting softness.

Where's Uncle Mike? Andrew fuzzily thought. He was finding it hard to control his thoughts. They seemed to be slipping. Paul? Casper…? With each passing thought the boy was slipping into oblivion. This pain… hurts. A sharp pain running down into his legs threatened to pull him under again.

This is what exactly Andrew's conscious wanted. The boy moaned, out of pain, exhaustion, or nausea he couldn't tell.

Rena… Where are you?

These were his last thoughts as the boy's body gave up and slept.

Dr. William Foster's POV

Dr. William Foster watched as Andrew regained consciousness, fought against the pain from the prior surgery to remove the four bullets, and slipped back into the blissful state of oblivion.

William watched with concerned eyes as he watched Andrew's heart monitor. It showed the Andrew's heart was good, steady, and strong. Strong as he is, the physician thought as Andrew's pale form breathed. And he'll have to be. William grimaced at the last thought.

Andrew was lucky. That's what it came down to, always.

The boy was lucky.

The four bullets that had pierced Andrew's legs had missed the vital arteries and veins. His organs and bones were intact. There seemed to be no internal damage. Sophia, his intern, thought that the boy would be fine to go home in about a week. Before when he first assisted the boy and wheeled him into the OR, William thought the same.

How wrong they were.

The boy had no home to go to. He was raised by thugs, abused and unwanted and unloved. An orphan. During the last 48 hours, Three Rivers hospital had received no calls from home or any other family or friend concerning the five eleven boy.

It was simple, even more painful to say that it was simpler than that.

The seventeen-year old boy was alone. He had no one.

On a more pressing issue, Andrew Yablonski had damage resulted from the bullet wounds – minor damage in the case of the field, but damage nonetheless. The two penetrative gunshot bullets were easily removed, but the other two – deeper in – were an issue. The two bullets in the boy's back calves took a while to remove, and it wasn't until later that William realized in the recovery room that the teen's body was effected by the two bullets that had been embattled in the calves.

The boy would experience bouts of severe pain, nausea, disorientation, and exhaustion for a while. He also damaged some muscle.

William wasn't certain if the boy would have to use a wheelchair as his first mode of transportation for awhile.

William sighed and rubbed his sore temples. It had been a rough night. In more way s than one. He glanced at the sleeping boy. For once, he looked peaceful. William privately wondered if Andrew Yablonski had ever felt peaceful during the fifteen years since they last met. Thinking about Andrew made William think about Daniel, the boy's father, and his own best friend and colleague. He could almost feel Daniel Yablonski's breath around his ear and the annoying question that always popped into his mind. That question that Daniel used to use frequently to dissolve the tension in the ER. "Is he dead yet?" Then, "No? C'mon, Americans, we'd better give this guy another chance."

Yes, that was Daniel's favorite saying all right. A second chance.

William took the son of Daniel Yablonski's hands in his own. The smaller, lighter hands seemed heavy in his own warm and secure one.

"I'll be here for you, kid," he whispered. William's blue eyes met the boy's face. "I'll be here for you if you don't give up, okay? Give yourself another chance, all right?"

The man gave the younger hand a small squeeze. The boy still didn't wake up.

Still, as William moved onto his next patient, Andrew Yablonski seemed more relaxed as he slept and his skin appeared to have more life to it.

He even thought the boy was smiling as he dreamed.

Andrew slowly opened his eyes. The pan in his eyes had disappeared in the weeks – and months - he had been at Three Rivers.

He was now free. Free. Free from child abuse. Being a criminal. Free from being a caged patient.

And free from Uncle Mike. Along with the ever-present pain meds and numbing walks with Dr. Foster – the only person in the place that seemed to trust him – that persisted throughout the day, Andrew still couldn't help but think something wasn't right.

Uncle Mike, Casper, and Paul had been caught and were now locked up, and Andrew wasn't certain what would become of him. Dr. Foster said they would "figure it out" later." Andrew couldn't give a damn of what happened to Uncle Mike, Casper, and Paul. He didn't care if they were locked up forever. Andrew told himself that he would break away from all that… sanity and pain, but what now? The boy was still critically wounded, and pretty much an inmate from the cold politeness he got from the staff and an officer came by for a warrant for Andrew's arrest. Dr. Foster said "wait."

Plus, there was no Rena.

Had he lost Rena as well? As a child, the thought would have paralyzed Andrew with cold fear. Now, however….

It was indifferent. What happened had happened. Rena was no longer his friend.

Why did he feel so empty when he thought of her then?

Andrew had no answers.

One thing was for certain. Andrew was going to have to get better. In body. In mind. In soul.

He had to relearn himself. Ever since he could remember, Andrew Yablonski wanted to be a doctor. What kind of doctor Andrew had no idea until now.

Andrew wanted to be a doctor like Dr. William Foster.

The man had trusted him when no one else would, and treated him as an equal and not as a lowly "inmate." There was also something Andrew felt about the man that he thought he had seen before.

Had he known the man before?

Med schools and colleges were not friendly to those that had a past, especially Andrew's.

But he could do it. Andrew could be someone that he always wanted to be.

He knew he could.

Why else would Dr. Foster take him in when no one else would?

Why else would his uncle drop twenty thousand dollars to him to enter "a new life?"

Why else would Rena come back for him and say "I'll always watch out for you?"

Thinking about all these things reminded Andrew of conversation that he had before with Dr. William Foster.

The day of his discharge, Andrew had asked, "Hey Dr. Foster, what is like doing the work that you do? Like cutting a person open and saving them? Is it…better than this? …Better than what I did?"

Dr. Foster had only smiled. "What do you think, Andrew?"

Andrew was silent for a moment. Then when he found his voice, Andrew found that he meant what he had asked.

"I want to thank you…Dr. Foster, for what you've done for me.'" Andrew was saying goodbye. "I've decided, I…aim to be like you. I know it'll be a tough road…but I want to do some good in this world. Like you."

He wanted to change one thing.

The eighteen-year old wanted to change his name. Not in a literal sense, of course.

Andrew Yablonski wanted to be known as Andy Yablonski

His name would now be Andy Yablonski.

Andy Yablonski.

What I've Done – Linkin Park

In this farewell
There's no blood
There's no alibi
'Cause I've drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies.

So let mercy come
And wash away
What I've done.

I'll face myself
To cross out what I've become.
Erase myself
And let go of what I've done.

Put to rest
What you thought of me.
While I clean this slate
With the hands of uncertainty.

So let mercy come
And wash away
What I've done.

I'll face myself
To cross out what I've become.
Erase myself.
And let go of what I've done.

For what I've done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends.
I'm forgiving what I've done.

I'll face myself
To cross out what I've become.
Erase myself.
And let go of what I've done
What I've done.
Forgiving what I've done.