Author's Note: This chapter begins just before the last scene from the previous chapter. Enjoy!

Lucien held Li's hand as they stepped off the platform at the Ballarat Railway Station. The little girl was trying to look everywhere at once. He smiled down at her encouragingly. He had always been proud of her curiosity.

"This is Ballarat?" she asked.

"Yes, my darling, this is Ballarat. This is where we'll be living now. What do you say we go see the house?"

"Your father's house?" asked Li.

He nodded. "My father's house. Your grandfather's house."

"And Mrs. Beazley?"

"Yes, and Mrs. Beazley and her boys."

"I remember their names," she said. "Christopher and Jack. Do you think they'll like me, Daddy?"

"I'm absolutely certain that they'll like you, as will Mrs. Beazley, and your grandfather."

She didn't look entirely convinced. Lucien hoped that getting them all introduced as soon as possible was the best way to allay her fears. He hailed a taxi which, in just a few minutes, deposited them at the foot of the drive.

When he looked up at the familiar house, he realized he'd been so busy trying to reassure Li that he'd been able to ignore his own apprehensions about seeing his father again. It was just as well, he thought. He and Li didn't really have anywhere else to go.

"Ready?" he asked Li as he hefted their bags over one shoulder. He noticed she still looked nervous, so he lifted her up over his head so she could sit on his shoulders.

"You used to let me ride like this when I was little," she remembered.

"I did," he told her, delighted that she was remembering more of their time together.

As he started up the drive, he heard a pair of shouts, and saw Christopher and Jack come hurtling at him.

"Doctor Blake!"

They threw their arms around him, and he hugged them back as best he could without dropping Li.

"Is this your little girl?" asked Jack, looking up.

"That's right. This is Li. Li, this scamp is Jack."

Jack grinned up at her. "Hi, Li."

"Hi, Jack," she said shyly.

"And this tall chap is Christopher."

"Hello, Li."

"Hi, Christopher."

Lucien smiled proudly. These three children were all very dear to his heart, and he very much wanted them to get along. So far, so good.

"Where's your mum?" he asked the boys.

"In the sunroom," Christopher told him.

"With all her plants that don't have flowers yet," Jack added, wrinkling his nose.

"With your mother's gardening talents I'm sure they'll all have flowers in no time," Lucien assured him. "Now, do you think you could help me out with something for her?"

Christopher nodded vigorously while Jack bounced up and down, saying, "What?"

"Will you help me sing a song to let her know we're here? I'd like to surprise her."

"She'll be surprised," Christopher assured him. "She thinks you're coming next week."

"Yes, well, nevertheless, I'd like to sing a song for her."

"Like when she sang for you?" asked Jack.

"Exactly," said Lucien. "Li and I have been practicing, haven't we?"

He could feel her nod, since her chin was resting on the top of his head.

"Now you only have to remember one line: 'You're the top'. All right? You take my hands, and every time I squeeze them, you say your line."

Both boys nodded, big smiles on their faces.

"Shall we practice it once, very quietly? All three of you now."

He squeezed his hands, and the three children all whispered it in unison. He laughed in delight. "Perfect! Now let's all move up toward the front door, and we'll sing it nice and loud. Everyone ready? Go!"

"You're the top!" the children called out.

"You're the Coliseum," he sang out, then squeezed their hands.

"You're the top!"

"You're the Louvre Museum."

And then Jean appeared, taking his breath away. He had thought her lovely in the camps, despite being underfed and in faded clothing, but now, with her hair and makeup neatly done, dressed in a silky blouse and well-fitted skirt, and best of all, looking healthy and happy, she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Her hand went to her mouth as she stood there, staring at him in surprise.

He let go of the boys' hands and set Li on the ground before moving toward her.

"Lucien," she breathed, holding out her hands to him. He took them in his own and pulled her towards him. Mindful of the children looking on, he settled for a sedate kiss to her cheek, although everything he had wanted to embrace her tightly and kiss her passionately until they were both breathless.

"We thought, well," she began, her face lit with a brilliant smile.

"I know. I didn't want to spend one more day away from all of you, and frankly, I've had my fill of ships and their tiny cabins, so we came by plane."

She nodded, understanding completely. "You're here now. That's all that matters."

"Yes," he agreed. "And with the most precious of treasures." He held a hand out to Li. "Mrs. Beazley, may I introduce my daughter, Li. Li, this is my very dear friend, Mrs. Beazley."

"How do you do, Mrs. Beazley?" Li said politely holding out her hand.

Jean, with her motherly instinct, must have realized that a hug would not be unwelcome. She enveloped the little girl in her arms. "I am so happy to meet you, Li. So happy that you and your father have found one another again." She smiled at Lucien. "Now, why don't we all go inside? I'll show you to your room so you can get settled, and then maybe some milk and biscuits?"

Li looked to her father for approval. "That sounds lovely," he said. "Shall we?"

They were stepping onto the porch, with the boys talking to him a mile a minute, when Thomas appeared in the doorway, his mouth hanging open as he gazed at his son.

Lucien swallowed forcefully, the smile leaving his face as he stared back at his father. He couldn't prevent the rising apprehension that overtook him. So much depended on whether he and his father could put their differences behind them. Lucien refused to subject Li to a home filled with dissension, but if they moved out, what would that mean for Jean and her boys? He resolved to try his best to mend the relationship with his father. Surely they had both mellowed somewhat after all these years.

"Dad," he said politely, stepping forward in greeting.

Thomas paused only a minutes before pulling his son into a fierce hug. "Lucien, my boy, I am so pleased. So pleased."

"Me, too," Lucien said softly. "It's good to be home."

"This is your home. For as long as you want it to be," Thomas told him. "Mrs. Beazley has made it a home again."

Both men turned to smile at Jean, who blushed.

Lucien saw that Li was holding Jean's hand, which reminded him. "Dad, this is your granddaughter, Li. Sweetheart, this is your grandfather."

The petite girl seemed a little daunted, even though Lucien had told her very little about his differences with his father, wanting to give them both a chance at a clean start.

"Hello, Grandfather," she said softly.

"Hello, Li. My what a lovely young lady you are," Thomas told her.

She looked to Lucien for guidance, and when he nodded to her, Li managed a shy smile. "Thank you for letting us stay in your house," she told Thomas.

"My absolute pleasure, my dear. I hope you'll feel at home here. Please, come inside, everyone."

And so it began. The Blake and Beazley families began to meld together. Six people who had known tragedy bonded together to face the future. There would be stumbles along the path, of course. Lucien and Thomas would need to confront their past history. Jack's headstrong ways would cause him troubles. Jean and Lucien's relationship would face the disapproval of Ballarat's small town mentality. Christopher would need to find his own way. And Li would experience bigotry and ignorance. But the strength and love that had seen them all through the war would see them through peacetime as well. They would be a family.

Author's Note: This is the end of "Prisoners" but the AU will continue, just not right away. Thank you to everyone who came along for the journey. The response has been far greater than I ever expected. A special thanks to all who took the time to comment. Please know that your reviews are very much appreciated. And watch this space for the sequel, tentatively called "Freedom".