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One Life To Live
Chapter One


Chapter One

19:47 ZULU
Boone Hospital Center
Columbia, Missouri

Monica Price opened her brown eyes and was met with a blurred vision. So many things were racing through her mind that she just gave up trying to answer any questions she might have. Her weak eyes scanned the room and landed on a tall man asleep in what look like to be a very uncomfortable chair. He was wearing a uniform of some kind.

Great, she thought, strangers.

Looking a little closer at her surroundings it finally clicked that she was in a hospital. Frightened, her instincts took over and she scooted herself higher in her bed, that was a mistake.

Oh my GOSH! What the heck happened to me? Monica screamed as pain flowed all through her body as a result of the movement. As she laid there, eyes closed, waiting for the pain to subside she didnt realize she had awakened the stranger that sat a few feet in front of her.

The man stretched and yawned. He was a little cautious upon approaching the teenage girl. His only encounter with girls of her age was with his best friends little sister. And he rarely saw her so he was stuck at what to do. When he saw her open her eyes he thought it was now or never to make a good impression. Hi, Monica, how are you feeling?

Monica was startled a little when his voiced echoed in the tiny room. She didnt feel like having a conversation with strangers so she was going to make this short. I would like to know why Im in a lot of pain.

You were in a terrible car crash that left you with several broken ribs and a nasty concussion that made you black out.

Who are you some kind of doctor? And where is my dad? She didnt like the way the man's eyes looked down as she said her last sentence. Whats wrong? TELL ME! Although she knew without being told that something dreadful has happened that would change her life. She got tears in here eyes when she heard the man speak through a timid voice.

He didnt make it to the hospital. The paramedics said there was nothing they could do.

Her father, the greatest man in her eyes, had always told her Dont cry when things look bad. Feel proud knowing you got through something that would tear other people apart. But now she realized that some things are meant to tear people apart, and theres nothing you can do about that. She realized that fact as she started to feel tears run down her cheeks. She angrily brushed them away and with a sniff asked, So who are you?

He was going to step forward when he saw the tears in her eyes but thought it to be best if he let her deal with this by herself. Its not like he had the best practice with this kind of situation. He was relieved when she spoke. Her quiet sobs were heart wrenching enough. Though he felt bad for what this little girl has been put through. My name is Harmon, you can call me Harm. I was told that I am your closet relative so youre going to come live with me.

So Im just going to pack up my things, leave all my friends, and come live with a complete stranger? Sorry, no.

So much for making a good impression. I understand that but I dont think you have much of a choice.

Monica was fed up with this guy. She only obeyed one person in her life and now that hes gone, shes not listing to anybody. Look, I dont know who you think you are but

At that time the doctor strolled in looking at his charts. When he heard her he looked up at the two and saw the evil glances being thrown back and forth, he said, Hi, Im Dr. Holbrook. I hope Im not interrupting anything.

Harm looked away from Monica as he answered the doctor, No, not at all. Do you have any information on Monicas condition?

We went over her X-rays and found out that the ribs will heal normally and no more surgery is needed.

Monica looked at the Dr. Holbrook with worry in her eyes. What do you mean no more surgery is needed?"

Well, he said, When you arrived, you were pretty banged up. We had to make sure that everything was ok in your chest, as youll take note in the large bandage around your upper stomach. You might not want to do anything but rest these next few days. You should have a bit of a headache now. Its just a side affect of the anesthetics we gave you. The nurse will be by shortly to give you some medicine for that.

Monica sighed and felt the pain enter her head for the first time since she awoke. She gave an icy stare at Harm and said, I have a headache, but I dont think its from any medicine you gave me.

Well I do believe we want to keep you in the hospital for another night just to make sure youre ok. Dr. Holbrook turned to Harm. Are you going to be taking her home?

Harm was just about to answer the doctor, but Monica got there first. Nohes not. Grandma is going to pick me up. Yeahmy Grandma.

Ok then, Ill come in and check on you tomorrow morning. You might want to call your Grandma and ask her to bring you a set of clothes. Your others were stained with blood. Goodnight then.

As the doctor turned to leave, Harm gently asked out, Uh, doctor. May I talk to you outside for a second? He turned around to Monica and said, Dont worry, I wont be gone too long.

Monica just mocked him back as he and the doctor excited her room. It just then hit her what he was going to say to the doctor. NO! Im going to live with my GRANDMA! As the words flowed through her mouth, her head pounded at the loudness of her voice and she closed her eyes to try and make the pain go away. Didnt mean she wasnt going to get her kicks in. Jerk

Outside of the hospital room, her words were barely heard because a conversation was taking place.

Look, doctor, she lost her father in that car crash and I was told that I was her next of kin. I dont really think her grandmas picking her up or I wouldnt have been called here.

The doctor looked to be in deep concentration for a second and then answered Harm. I see. Well lets hope shes over this by tomorrow because theres really nothing we can do. Denial is a very hard thing to go through and especially with someone of her age. Teenagers are stubborn that way so dont expect her to immediately latch on to you.

I understand, thank you doctor. As the doctor left, Harm decided it was time to make things better. He entered the room and when he saw Monica with her eyes closed, he assumed she was asleep. When he turned around to leave, her voice stopped him.

If Im going to live with you, youre going to have to understand that I wont bother you and you better not bother me. I dont need anybody and I sure as heck dont need no police man to baby me, understand?

Harm turned to face her and answered her with a calm voice. That works out fine for me because I dont need a twelve year old running around. Especially when I have court the next day.

Court? That opened Monicas eyes since she wanted to become a lawyer some day, but then again she didnt want him to think he interested her. That would lead to bonding. What are you, a security guard thats stands by the doors or something?

Well talk tomorrow, you need your rest. As he turned to leave he felt somewhat better about this whole ordeal. To be honest, he was going to say no when they asked if he would be her guardian. Then the lady on the phone explained her situation and how she has close to no one left in the world. Having a teenager around his small apartment would be hectic, but it could be worse. She could be in an orphanage and he'd be the evil person that put her there. Opening the door to the hospital hallway, he heard her call out to him.


Harm smiled as he turned to leave the building.

Fourteen. Fourteen. Im only fourteen and you left me daddy. Why did you leave me? Why? Was it your plan to leave me? I was always a good girl. I never fought back. I always thought you were fair. You were all I had and you left me, just like everyone else left us. Ill miss you daddy. Ill miss everything we used to do together. Those weekend fishing trips to the Twin Lakes. Ill miss those summer days where you and I sat under the large maple tree in the back yard. And most of all, Ill miss you. I love you dad.

Monica let the tears freely fall all night long. She barely got any sleep. That question kept replaying over and over in her head. Why? Everyone shed ever known had left her one way or another. Her mother got ill during her childbirth and died two weeks after Monica was born. Her dog, Domino, got shot by her crazy neighbor down the street for looking at him. Her best friend moved away to Texas when she was nine, and her cat, Libby, got ran over by a car when she was ten. All through life she dealt with loss and there was always one person who was there for her. Her father. Now that hes gone shes all by herself.

Thats the way it was meant to be then.

That same night

Harm had stopped by Monicas house on the way home from the hospital to get some clothes for her to wear tomorrow. He has no idea how hes going to make it through the next twenty four hours, but hell make it. With some help of his friends and co-workers. He was sitting by a small table provided with the room he got at the hotel for his stay in Missouri looking at the adoption forms when his cell phone rang. Rabb

Hey Harm, its Mac.

Mac. His work partner and best friend. She was going to mock him BIG time with this one. Hi Mac, hows everything back at JAG?

Oh, its a blast, as usual. So, how did Monica turn out? She made sure her voice had that teasing sound to it because he couldnt see her face on which she wore a bright smile from ear to ear on it. One thing she knew was that she had this bet made before it even happened.

She copped rather well with the news. I was surprised with how well she handled it. If you want to know if she was as antisocial with me as you planed her out to be then, His voice quieted down some into an almost faint whisper, Yes.

Ha! Macs voice was filled with triumph. Ive been around theyre type and you refused to listen to me. Thatll be 5 bucks squid.

Yeah well I dont think this rebellious act is going to last much longer though, well just have to see.

[Miranda's] DISCLAIMER: Ok, I'm not really good at these so I'll just get down to it. I do not own JAG or and of it's components. I don't own David James Elliott, (although I wish I did) Catherine Bell, or any other JAG actors or characters... blah, blah, blah. You ge the picture right? Oh, and don't steal my story or my characters... I don't really want to hunt you down. If you don't think I can find you... your wrong, I've got contacts. Have a nice day! :)