Alternate Ending to Season Finale

By Kelly

This story picks up after Lilly is rushed into surgery in the season finale. I wanted to see what might happen if she survived, especially since I loved her character and was upset that the writers of the show killed her off! I was inspired to write this by Karen's post suggesting a fanfic to write Lilly out of the show in another way, as well as a post by Bello involving an estranged family member showing up in Providence, so thanks to those two for their ideas.

This is my first attempt at "Providence" fanfic, so please be nice! Send feedback to, and enjoy!



Someone was shaking her shoulder and repeating her name. She tried to mumble for them to go away, but the voice became more persistent. Sydney Hansen opened her eyes. "Joanie, what do you want?"

"Syd, where's Lilly? When I got here, they said she had been taken in for emergency surgery. How is she?"

"I don't know. I fell asleep right after they moved her down here."

A doctor appeared in the waiting room. "I'm looking for the family of Lilly Gallagher?"

"Right here." Joanie waved the doctor over and sat down next to Syd.

"I'm pleased to report that Lilly made it through the surgery without any major problems. We'd like to keep her here for the next few days to watch for any complications, but she should be just fine," the doctor reported.

Syd felt weak with relief. "Thank God." She remembered the horrible dream she'd had after Lilly was taken in to surgery: that Lilly had died, and Syd had to go home and break the news to her family. The reality was coming back to her now. Lilly being rushed into surgery, the hours and hours of waiting until she fell asleep out of pure exhaustion. But it was OK now. Lilly was fine.

"Can we see her?" Joanie was asking the doctor.

"Maybe just for a few minutes," the doctor replied. "She's been through a lot, and she needs her rest. Follow me, I'll take you to her room."

Only one visitor at a time was allowed, so they decided that Syd would see Lilly first while Joanie called home to give the news to their father and Robbie. Syd walked quietly into the room, and at first glance, Lilly appeared to be sleeping. She opened her eyes when Syd took her hand.

"Sydney.." she murmured. "I'm so sorry."

Syd squeezed her hand. "Its OK, Lilly. All that matters is that you're going to be fine."

"Where is everyone?" Lilly asked weakly. "Are they here too?"

"I sent Dad and Robbie home, but they'll be by later today. Joanie's outside waiting to see you, if you feel up to it," Syd answered. "You'll be home soon, and when you are, we'll have a huge party, with all your friends and anyone else you want to invite…" She stopped when she saw that Lilly was already asleep. She kissed the girl on the forehead and left the room.

By the next day, Lilly was doing well enough to be moved out of the recovery room. The entire Hansen family came to visit her, with the exception of Hannah, who was left at home with a baby-sitter. The doctors had promised that Lilly could go home in four days, barring any unseen problems, and preparations for a homecoming party were already underway.

"Syd, have you seen today's paper?" Jim asked his daughter, as they walked down the hall on their way to the cafeteria. He handed a copy to her and pointed out a small column. "Lilly's accident made the front page. The friend who was with her is dead."

"Oh, my God," Syd whispered. "We'll have to tell her."

"Not yet," Jim warned. "She's been through a lot, and there's no point in upsetting her now. Has she talked to you about what happened?"

Syd shook her head. "I figured that she'll tell us when she's ready to." She paused for a moment. "Dad, I wanted to ask you something."

"Hmm? What is it?"

"I'd like for us to adopt Lilly. To make her officially a Hansen. I haven't asked Joanie or Robbie yet, but I was going to bring it up when we get home tonight."

Jim looked thoughtful. "That's really up to Lilly. But I'd love it."

Syd saw the man as soon as she stepped out of the elevator. He was holding a copy of the newspaper and a small bouquet of flowers, watching through the window into the room as Lilly and Robbie played video games inside. "Excuse me, can I help you?"

The man turned around at her voice. He had blond hair and blue eyes, and looked slightly familiar. "I was looking for Lilly Gallagher. Is this her room?"

Syd nodded. "I'm Dr. Sydney Hansen, Lilly's guardian. Are you a friend of hers?"

"Well, sort of. I'm Joe Gallagher. Lilly's father."

"I lost contact with Lilly and her mother shortly after the divorce," Joe explained. Syd had asked if they could speak for a moment before Joe saw Lilly. "I moved to New York to take a job with a firm there, and when I tried to write, my letters came back. Apparently they had moved too and hadn't left a forwarding address. I never knew what happened to Lilly until I saw the paper this morning."

"What brings you to Providence?" Syd asked him. What she wanted to ask, but was afraid to, was if Joe wanted to take Lilly back to New York or wherever he was living now. He was polite and seemed like a nice, normal guy. He was anxious to see Lilly, but Syd wasn't sure if the girl was up to it yet.

"Hi, Syd." She was interrupted from her thoughts by Helen, who she hadn't seen approaching. "How's Lilly?"

Syd excused herself to Joe and pulled Helen down the hall, where she explained the situation. "What should I do, Helen?" she asked her coworker. "He really wants to see Lilly, but I don't know if she's ready for this."

"Syd, he has a right to see his daughter," Helen argued. "Imagine what you would be going through if you read in a paper that your child was in a horrible accident."

"I suppose," Syd agreed reluctantly. "Will you talk to Joe while I tell my family what's going on?"

"Lilly, there's someone here to see you," Syd told the girl. "Do you feel up to it?"

"I'm fine," Lilly insisted. "Who is it? Someone from school?"

"Not exactly," Syd answered. She motioned to Joe, and he slowly walked into the room.

Lilly's eyes widened. "Dad?"

"Hi, Lilly," Joe said nervously. He held out the flowers. "I brought these for you."

Syd waited for Lilly's reaction. The girl looked indecisive for a moment then took the flowers with a huge smile. Joe sat in a chair next to the bed, and they began talking happily. Syd smiled and slipped out of the room.

Lilly came home four days later. The entire family, as well as many of Lilly's classmates was there to welcome her home. Joe was staying in a nearby hotel for awhile, so he could see as much of Lilly as possible. Lilly seemed thrilled to have her father back in her life, and while the Hansens were happy for her, they also worried that Joe would want to take her to Connecticut to live with him. However, as Robbie pointed out, if that was the case, it would be up to Lilly.

It came a few weeks later. Syd was working at the clinic, and had just finished examining a patient when Joe came in. "Dr. Hansen, could I talk to you for a moment?" he asked.

"Sure," she answered. She took him into the office and shut the door. "So what's going on?"

"Well, the month off I asked my firm for is almost up, and I'll have to go back to work soon. I'm going back home on Friday. And I want to take Lilly with me." He noticed Syd's pained look and hurried on. "You and your family have done a great job with her, and I really appreciate it. But I can't bear the thought of losing her a second time."

"Have you asked her yet?" Syd managed to say. She had been preparing for this scenario ever since Joe showed up in the hospital, but actually going through it was something different.

Joe shook his head. "I wanted to make sure it was okay with you first."

Syd sighed. "Lilly's become a part of our family, and we're all so attached to her. But you're her father, and if she wants to live with you, I won't object."

"Thank you, Dr. Hansen," Joe said sincerely. "I know this must be difficult for you."

"Why don't you pick her up from school today?" Syd offered. "The two of you can have a chance to talk, and then come by later on and let us know what Lilly decides."

By dinnertime, Lilly and Joe still hadn't come back. Syd had told her family about her talk with Joe that day, and while they hated the thought of losing Lilly, they agreed that it should be her choice to make.

Joanie was bringing out the roast chicken when the door slammed and Lilly appeared in the dining room. "Syd, can I talk to you?"

Syd threw her napkin on her plate and followed Lilly up to the attic. The girl appeared uncomfortable, and Syd waited for her to speak.

"Dad asked me to live with him," Lilly finally said. "He wants me to come back to Connecticut with him this weekend."

"Do you want to?" Syd asked gently.

"That's the trouble, I don't know!" Lilly paced around the attic. "You and your family have been so good to me, and I've been happier here in Providence than I have in a long time. But…"

"But you miss your father and want to go with him," Syd finished. Lilly nodded miserably. "Lilly, I've loved having you here, everyone's loved having you here. But what we want most is for you to be happy, and if you think that's in Connecticut with your father, then we'll all be behind you."

"Can I come back and visit sometimes?"

"Of course. Any time you want," Syd assured her. "And I want you to know that you'll always have a home here with us."

Lilly threw her arms around Syd. "Thank you so much for understanding. And for everything else."

Syd held her for a moment. "You've been worth all of it, Lilly."

The days flew by all too fast until it was Friday afternoon. Lilly had packed all her belongings the previous night, with help from Syd and Joanie. Everything was in the car, ready to go, and for the last twenty minutes the Hansens and Lilly and Joe had been standing in the driveway making small talk in order to put off having to say goodbye. Finally Joe looked at his watch and regretfully said that he and Lilly would have to be on their way in order to beat the rush hour traffic.

Lilly was crying as she said goodbye to each of the Hansens, shaking hands with Robbie, hugging Joanie, kissing Jim on the cheek. She promised to write every week and visit soon. When she got to Syd, she choked up and couldn't speak. Syd hugged her and assured her that she was only a phone call away.

Lilly nodded and got into the car. Joe shook hands with all the Hansens and thanked them again. Then he got into the car, backed out of the driveway, and drove away down the street. The Hansens waved until the car disappeared down a hill.

As she turned to walk into the house, Syd remembered the dream she'd had while Lilly was in the hospital. The emptiness she felt inside faded a little thinking that while Lilly was gone, at least she was alive and well. Lilly had so much potential, and Syd couldn't wait to find out what great things life had in store for her.


© 1999 Kelly

DISCLAIMER: Characters mentioned in this story that have appeared in the NBC series "Providence" are the property of National Broadcasting Company. No copyright infringement is intended.