Homecoming

Matthew's words kept repeating in her head, "The likelihood of him coming back is…" She knew. They all knew. But Jean, more than anyone, knew as the weeks turned into months, the likelihood of Lucien coming back to her lessened. However, Jean, more than anyone, also knew what a fighter Lucien was…is. She never faltered from the hope that he would make it back to her…somehow.

Detective Charlie Davis arrived in Sydney to question a possible witness to a murder that happened in Melbourne months earlier. Lucien Blake had been weighing heavy on his mind since he first heard he needed to go to Sydney. Nine months now since Lucien disappeared. The local police had checked hospitals and combed the river but Lucien had never been found. The suspect's body, however, had been recovered. Having worked very closely with Lucien, Charlie knew Blake and his risk-taking ways in order to get answers and secure a suspect. So, when the report came out that Lucien and the suspect had fallen from that bridge, he was not surprised. Deeply saddened, but not surprised in the least. He thought being married to Jean would have calmed him down some but it hadn't. If anything, he took more risks. The sadness was definite but so was the anger. Something Matthew Lawson and he had in common. One of the last conversations Charlie had with the Chief Superintendent, Matthew had stated how he couldn't "wait to have Lucien walk through that door so I can wring his bloody neck!"

The local Sydney police escorted Charlie and his partner to the hospital where the witness was recovering from an altercation at a pub that had left him gravely hurt. When they entered the dual patient room, Charlie stopped dead in his tracks. He couldn't speak. He couldn't move. He was pretty sure he had stopped breathing. There lay Lucien Blake. His beard had been shaved. His hair was a curly mess. He had lost a bit of weight. But Charlie knew as soon as he had seen him, that was Blake. Once he regained his senses, he apologized to his partner, who was perplexed at the tears that had formed in Charlie's eyes and his current behavior, and asked that he continue on without him. He had to phone Lawson immediately.

Once he got him on the phone, Matthew couldn't withhold his excitement from hearing from the young lad in months. "Charlie! Good to hear…"

Charlie interrupted him, "Boss! Matthew. Sorry, I need you to listen to me."

"Charlie, what's going on? Are you okay?"

He heard Charlie sob into the phone and fear gripped him. Charlie was able to get it out, "It's Lucien. I found him. He's alive."

Matthew dropped the phone. They had held out hope this day would come but they never really believed it would actually happen. Well, other than Jean. Jean. His thoughts went immediately to Jean. He had to get word to her right away but he had to be sure first. He had to know what had happened before he could talk to her. She was going to have a lot of questions and he knew better than to go tell her something like this without answers.

He picked the phone back up. "Charlie. I need you to be sure."

"It's him, Matthew. It is him. I don't know the details yet but it is definitely Lucien."

"Okay, I'll be in Melbourne in about…"

"Melbourne? No, no, I'm in Sydney on a case. He's in Sydney."

"Sydney? Why the hell didn't the police find him?!"

"I don't know but I'm going to find out what happened."

"Okay. Okay, I'm going to go pick up Jean and head straight there. Give me the address where you're at. And Charlie? Don't take your eyes off of him until we get there."

Jean was tending to some paperwork at the kitchen table when Matthew came in. She started asking him about his day when she looked up and noticed the tears in his eyes. The smile on her face immediately fell. Her heart stopped. She knew. She knew this day would come. Please…please just let him be alive.

Matthew managed to croak out, "Jean." He cleared his throat. "Jean, he's alive."

Her heart started to beat again. More ways than one. She began to sob. Matthew had his arms around her in an instant. They cried together until she was able to start thinking again. She asked him a barrage of questions that he didn't have the answers to.

Trying to calm her, Matthew interrupted, "Jean. Jean! He's alive. He's in Sydney and Charlie is with him. That is all I know right now. We need to get going."

With that, they were off. They had each thrown together a travel bag. Matthew kept looking at Jean throughout their trip. His head was spinning and he could imagine she was having great difficulty trying to contain her emotions and thoughts. She seemed to be keeping it together quite well. She wasn't happy with not having the answers, as he knew she wouldn't be, but she wanted to see him. Touch him. The answers could wait. She didn't speak at all. Not until they got to the hospital. As they were in the elevator to head to his floor, Matthew grabbed her hand. She was shaking like a leaf. She smiled at him and said thank you.

As they appeared at his room, Charlie was sitting in a chair talking to him. Jean and Lucien made eye contact. She almost fainted. If it weren't for Matthew, she probably would have. He kept hold of her and ushered her to Lucien's bed. She began to sob and reached her arms out for her beloved and he reciprocated. Matthew and Charlie looked at each other and Matthew sensed something was off. It was Lucien but something was wrong.

Charlie had to interrupt the reunion. "Jean? Jean, I need to tell you what's going on." She lifted herself from Lucien's embrace and turned to Charlie as she wiped her eyes. She turned her attention back to Lucien as Charlie continued. She had never seen Lucien without facial hair before, other than his childhood pictures of course. She didn't quite know how she felt about it. Beard or not, she was happy to just be touching him again. Lucien couldn't take his eyes off her. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He had an instant connection to her and he couldn't understand why. She touched his cheek and kept her hand there. "…amnesia."

Jean had missed everything Charlie had said up until that point. She looked sharply at Charlie. Lucien has amnesia? She looked toward Matthew. He was slack jawed, clearly his mind was on overload. She looked back at Lucien and she saw a range of emotions, compassion, excitement, and confusion. He didn't remember her but he couldn't let go of her hand. Even though he didn't understand it, the electricity in their touch was intense. It was home. He finally felt safe, which was very odd to him. How could he feel safe in the arms of a stranger? Charlie had explained to him what had happened and the gist of his life events, preparing him for the moment Jean entered. She rubbed his cheek with her hand. Her Lucien was in there. "We will get through this." He didn't believe her but he nodded nonetheless.

The excitement was a bit much for him and his eyes became very heavy. She told him to sleep and she would be right there when he woke up. Once he drifted off, Charlie left to meet up with his partner and explain what was happening. Matthew and Jean stood and he put his arm around her as they watched Lucien sleep. He filled her in on what she had missed in her excitement reuniting with Lucien.

He was found wandering the streets of Sydney a few months ago. They don't know what happened between the time he fell off the bridge to the time he was found. He was pretty badly hurt though. Aside from the amnesia, he had numerous cuts and abrasions, a broken arm, and a stab wound (not too far from his previous stab injury). He had battled an infection for the last month and a half and was due to be discharged soon. Jean took a deep breath, "But he's okay now? Apart from the amnesia, of course."

He smiled with tears in his eyes again. "Yes, they are going to work on his discharge papers and we can take him home as soon as he is ready."

She smiled with tears giving way again and looked down at Lucien. She bent down and kissed his forehead, keeping her hand on his head, gently stroking his hair. Home.