I waited patiently as the lady, who had slept on my shoulder the entire flight, gathered her things and moved to the aisle. I reached up into the overhead compartment and grabbed my worn brown leather bag that contained only my essentials. The line moved like slow cattle to the front of the plane. It had been years since I had last been to Germany.
"Guten morgen," A blonde haired flight attendant smiled brightly as I stepped off the plane and onto the tarmac.
I found my way through customs where I had my passport stamped then boarded a train that would take me to Landstuhl. I took a seat by a window and stored my bag down by my feet. I watched as the train gradually accelerated out of the station. I began scanning over an English newspaper that I had snagged as I left the airport. From time to time I just gazed out the window, taking in the beautiful scenery as it passed by.
"Nachste Station Landstuhl," came over the P.A.
I folded my newspaper and placed it away in my bag. I departed from the train and tried to gather my surroundings. I scanned the transit map for the best way to get to the medical center. I hopped on the S-Bann that stopped a block away from the hospital.
"Ah…Gut-en… morgen," I tried my best to greet the lady at the front desk.
"You're not from around here," The lady said kindly.
"No," I smiled sheepishly.
"How can I help you?" She asked.
"My nephew is a soldier being treated here," I explained, "His name is Declan McDonough,"
"Right, and your name?" She questioned as she typed Declan's name into the computer.
"Owen Yale," I wanted to fly under the radar as much as possible so I went with the name that was on my fake passport when Declan listed me under his emergency contacts.
"Okay, Andre will take you where you need to go," she said as she waved over an orderly and explained to him in German where I needed to go.
"Danke," I said kindly.
"Bitte," she replied.
I followed closely in toe with the orderly as he looped around the hospital. Without him I would have been turned around and lost with in the first five seconds. He took me up to the fourth floor than pointed me to the nurse's station. I explained to a nurse that I was here to see a soldier and she was very helpful.
"What was his name?" She asked.
Because the hospital dealt with a lot of soldiers from the U.S. a lot of the workers spoke English very well.
"Declan McDonough," I said, leaning against the counter.
"Are you his father?" A doctor, who had been writing something in a chart at the counter, asked.
"Uncle, actually," I corrected with a fib.
"I'm Dr. Stone," He looked to be in his late twenties.
"Owen," I replied, "How's my nephew?"
"He's coming along," he started as he began to advance toward a room, "He and his crew were escorting a red cross team when their Humvee rolled over a road side bomb. Sargent McDonough received the majority of the impact. He was ejected from his seat and flung out of the Humvee."
He explained as he paused outside of what I assumed was Declan's room.
"He has severe burns on his back, a broken clavicle, broken ribs, and a punctured lung,"
"Wow," I sighed, the kid really did a number on himself, "Am I allowed to see him?"
"Yes, he's been in and out of sleep all day," He warned me as he opened the door.
The kid looked like hell. He was fast asleep and didn't even flinch when the doctor did his exam. I took a seat by his bedside. The monitors beeped with an even rhythm and the sedative drip pumped steadily. He had a dark slightly faded bruise from his left temple down to his jaw and small nicks over his face.
"Jeez kid," I sighed, running my hand across my face.
FLASHBACK: AUGUST 2009
I rolled up to the curb just outside of his house in my old truck. I couldn't believe I was actually doing what I was about to do. The last thing I wanted to do was work with the kid. Kyle, however, felt it was best for his family that I did. He felt that Declan would be able to stay close to his family and keep an eye on things from the inside. Those weren't his exact words of course but its what he meant.
"Get in," I ordered through the rolled down passenger window when I saw him leave his house heading straight for his SUV.
"Sorry Foss, I'm not supposed to get in the car with strangers," He mouthed off.
"Look kid," I started, "Kyle seems to think that I need your help,"
"With what?" I could tell his tough guy exterior was slowly melting.
"Looking after his family," I paused, "All Kyle's ever wanted was to keep them safe,"
He hesitated, glancing down at the keys in his hand, then down the street. He stepped closer to the truck, resting his hand on the door.
"And what does helping you out entail exactly?"
"Why don't you get in the car and find out?" I suggested.
I was going out on a limb by not giving him details, but I knew that if he trusted Kyle then he would do as I asked. I could tell he was struggling with the decision as he tentatively opened the door and climbed into the truck. I pulled away from the curb and took him back to the warehouse.
"When I was in the military, we used boxing to deal with any animosities," I explained once we were inside. I tossed him a pair of gloves.
"We're going to box?" He questioned as he examined the beaten up pair of gloves.
"Unless you're afraid that I'll beat you?" I smirked, taking off my jacket and strapping on a pair of gloves.
I could tell he was uneasy but I knew I had struck the competitive nerve in him. He strapped on the gloves.
"Ever boxed before?" I asked, holding up my gloves.
"I think I can figure it out," He smirked, touching his gloves to mine.
I went straight for a jab to his gut, not too hard so as to do damage but hard enough.
"You have to protect yourself," I warned.
He regained his composer and held up his gloves in a protective stance. He attempted a few jabs at me, not landing a single one. I threw another one toward his gut again.
"Damn it!" He cursed, doubled over.
"Focus!" I harked back.
I was starting to bring out his anger. I could see it in his eyes, but there wasn't just anger toward me, there was something else there too. He came flying at me with the rage that was building inside of him. His punches were faster and more tactical.
"Good, come on!" I encouraged.
He was able to land a jab to my jaw hard enough to draw blood. I wiped the blood off of my chin with my forearm. I glanced up at Declan standing there with slight fear in his stance. I smiled shaking my head slowly.
"That," I started as I stepped towards him, "That is what we're here to work on,"
I took off my glove and placed an encouraging hand on his shoulder. Kyle was right, I would need Declan's help in the future, and what he had just done proved to me that I could work with him.
"You did good kid," I mumbled.
END OF FLASHBACK: FEBURARY 2013
I sat by his bedside and looked over my newspaper as I waited for him to come to again. I could see medical personnel go about their day through the window that overlooked the floor. A man in green scrubs with jet-black messy hair came into view. I watched him talk with a nurse then glance over to the room, then slowly advance forward.
"I heard uncle Owen was here for a visit," He smiled slightly as he entered the room.
I stood up and went over to give him a well over due hug. It had been almost two years since I had last seen Kyle.
"It's good to see you Foss," He mumbled as he returned my hug.
"You look good Kyle," I said, stepping back a little.
He looked more and more like Adam as the years passed. He had filled out more; his facial features had become more prominent; there was a five o'clock shadow along his jaw. He definitely wasn't the sixteen-year-old kid that I had pulled from the pod all those years ago. He had been plagued by the troubles of adult hood at a young age and had grown into a man.
"Jessi didn't mention that you were coming here," He said, resting his hands on his hips.
"It was a last minute decision," I shrugged.
With Latnok lurking in the shadows it was always best to not plan things in advance. I had booked my flight two days ago and I had made sure to use one of my many aliases.
"I couldn't let the kid go through something like this alone," I admitted, my eyes adverting his gaze.
"You've gone soft," He mumbled with a slight smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"He's grown on me," I muttered.
The truth was that Declan, Kyle and Jessi were the closest thing I had to a real family. Having looked out for Kyle since the beginning and becoming Jessi's protector and taking Declan under my wing, I had formed a bond with each of them. I would do anything for them and I knew they would do the same for me.
AN: Hello everyone! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! I've been wanting to write from Foss's prospective for a while now. I just wanted to say again that I am going to post pictures of who I think would play character's I've created for the story. Just look for them on my profile. Anyway let me know what you all think! Please feel free to comment!