Disclaimer: I don't own Monk
"Good morning Natalie" Adrian said
"Morning Mr. Monk," Natalie replied cheerfully
"Do you want some apple-juice," he asked her.
"Sure. Thank you"
Monk poured her a glass of apple-juice.
"So how was your day yesterday?"
"It was pretty good. I organized my photo albums." Monk said cheerfully
Natalie couldn't help but answer sarcastically.
"Wow. That's a great excitement. That would almost have been as amazing as if the fake Trudy had been the real Trudy."
Monk shook his head.
"That would NOT have been exciting at all. I would have had to"
He shuddered at the thought.
"Yeah right. Like you really would have done that. Please. You would have probably mixed up your pronouns on purpose," she said
"Anyway-" Monk said
"So that time you did that thing for her-" Natalie began.
"Can we get any more vague?" Monk interupted
They both laughed.
"So Julie got the lead in her school play," Natalie said
"I knew she would get the part. She's the most talented girl in her school."
A knock at the door is heard. Natalie goes to open the door. It was Leland and he looked like he had been crying.
"Captain," she exclaimed.
"Hello Natalie. Um Monk why don't you go make Natalie a hot cup of coco. She's going to need it."
"Why am I going to need it," Natalie asked an icy feeling settling in the pit of her stomach.
"Is something wrong?" Monk asked.
"Just go get the coco please," Leland said, "Natalie sit down."
Leland's phone rang.
"Excuse me," Leland said and picked up the phone, "Hi honey."
"Listen Karen right now isn't the best time."
"Oh okay. I'm sorry. I just called to say I love you."
Leland couldn't help but smile as he said, "I love you too."
"Are you going to be home on time," she asked.
"I'll try," he said, "can I bring you anything back?"
"Yes. Jennifer," she replied.
Jennifer was their firstborn. She had been kidnapped a little over a year again.
"I'm trying sweetheart."
"Just promise me you won't give up," Karen implored.
"I will NEVER give up," Leland vowed
"Good. And thank you for being there for me."
"Anytime," he said.
Monk came out with the coco.
"Natalie," Leland said, "sit down."
"Okay," Natalie said sitting down, "What's up?"
"This is the part of my job I hate most," Leland said
"Oh GOD," Monk exclaimed. He recognized the look in Leland's eyes. It was the same look he saw when Leland got the phone call about Trudy's car being bomb.
"Natalie we just got a radio maybe fifteen minutes ago. I insisted on checking it out first PRAYING that it was wrong but it wasn't. OH GOD Natalie I am so sorry."
Monk put an arm around Natalie. Leland was crying.
"Okay I have a feeling this isn't going to be something I want to hear," Natalie said.
"I'm sorry Natalie. It's Julie"
Natalie felt her stomach drop.
"W-what do you mean? She's fine. I saw her just this morning."
"Someone... she opened her locker and someone had put a bomb in her locker."
Fear flooded through Natalie.
"You can't be serious! We've got to go make sure she's alright!"
Leland put a hand on her arm
"Natalie she's gone. She was killed on impact."
Tears filled Monk's eyes but Natalie was too shocked and too much in denial to cry.
"What kind of nutcase would bomb a little girl's locker," Monk roared
"The same kind of nutcase that bombed a grown woman's car I guess," Leland replied
"This isn't happening. This is NOT happening. My daughter isn't dead!," Natalie exclaimed
"Natalie," Monk said, "I am so, so, so, sorry. I wish I could fix this for you."
He meant that too.
"Fix what," Natalie asked, "It's a mistake. It has to be."
Day's passed. Weeks passed. Natalie absolutely fell apart at the funeral.
"I can't believe I'm never going to see my little girl again," Natalie sobbed.
"Don't say that. You'll see her again," Monk reassured Natalie wiping her eyes."
"She's dead,"Natalie pointed out, "Her funeral was tonight"
Monk opened the door to Natalie's house.
"I'm staying with you until you feel better," he announced
"You mean that," Natalie asked
"Natalie you've always taken care of me. It's my turn to take care of you."
Natalie gratefully hugged him. He didn't pull away and even hugged her back.
"It's going to be okay," he reassured her.
"HOW! HOW IS IT GOING TO BE OKAY!"
"Trust me Natalie. It's going to be okay," he said hugging her.
"Those moments that I missed with her seems so regrettable," she said
"I know," Monk replied, "You start to wonder if you had one things differently would things have been different. You start question if you had done that thing one last time.. would it have been a different story. Would she still be alive today?"
"Was that how you felt when you lost Trudy?"
Oh yes," he said, "For the longest time I blamed myself. I wondered if there were things I could have done different and things I should have done or not done or..."
Natalie's eyes filled up again.
"I just hope Julie knew I loved her."
"She knows you love her" he replied firmly.
"She's Dead," Natalie reminded him
"So is Trudy and I still love her," Monk replied
"Actually that reminds me. Thank you for being there for me when I need you"
"Natalie I will always be there for you. I love you."
"You do," Natalie asked.
"Absolutely. You're my best friend and I love Julie too. Love doesn't stop just because a person's life stops."
Later when Natalie was in the shower a figure of light appeared to Monk.
"You are Adrian Monk," the figure said.
It was not a question. It was a statement. But Monk answered the Angel.
"Yes that's right. Am I allowed to ask who you are?"
"The Father in Heaven has seen your compassion for your friend. He is proud of you."
"Um... that's good. Thank you?"
He really didn't know how to respond.
"He is giving you a gift. He is going to allow you to restore one person who has already passed on.
Monk sat on an armchair deep in thought. Natalie came out
"Natalie call me Adrian. We've been friends long enough anyway."
"Okay... um... Adrian I cleaned out the shower so if you would like to use it you can"
"Thank you Natalie," Monk said.
He seemed distracted.
"Are you alright," Natalie asked.
"I'm fine," Monk assured her, "Just thinking about something that's all."
"Anything I could help you with," Natalie asked.
"Well," Monk began, "Lets say you were given a gift that you really want a lot but you have a friend who really needs it. What would you do?"
Monk knew exactly what he was going to do with his gift. He wanted Trudy. Natalie NEEDED Julie. Without Julie Natalie was falling apart.
"Well I would give it to the friend who needs it. What was this gift you got anyway," she asked
"Never mind. It's just a 'what if' question. I know exactly what I'm going to do. I knew from the second I got the gift what I was going to do. I just needed to verify I was doing the right thing."
"You're going to give the gift to you're friend," Natalie asked
"Absolutely," Monk looked at this angel, "Use it for her. Give her back to her."
Natalie looked at Monk like he was crazy.
"Mr. Monk are you okay? Who are you talking to?"
"She can't see me," the angel said, "Are you sure?"
"Absolutely. I want her (Trudy) she (Natalie) needs her (July)"
"That was a very compassionate and beautiful thing you did," the angel said
"Thanks. I'm sure it was the right thing to do."
"It was," the angel replied
Natalie did get Julie back. However the angel was impressed with Monk's behavior and rewarded him with the return of Trudy as well.