Set just after Lucy tells the family she was never engaged to Peter.

Influenced slightly by 'Someone like you' by Adele

Hope you enjoy!

-x-x-x-

Jack stood and watched as the woman he loved ran from the room and out of sight. She loved him. She really loved him and had proclaimed it in front of everybody. And he meant everybody. The whole family had just witnessed one son being dropped and the other lifted higher than he had ever thought possible. Then carnage had ensued. That trumped up flouncy Ashley Bartlett Bacon had stormed in with her husband. The rest of his family had jumped from their seats and swarmed the altar. But he didn't care about what would happen with Peter and the rest of the family. Time would tell. The only thing he cared about was the girl who had ran away. Jack pushed his way through the crowd and reached the door. She was nowhere in sight. Maybe she had ran. He could understand that under such a situation, the natural instinct would be to run. Heck, he'd have run. The question was where to? Then Jack stopped and thought, he alternated between running his fingers through his hair and resting his hands on his hips, always looking back on the shouting. The chaos. And then he had it. There was only one place she would be heading for.

-x-x-x-

Lucy was running. Running faster than she had ever done in her life. She hadn't looked back. She couldn't. That was the family she had yearned for and yet had to let go or she would never leave. She was running through the streets of Chicago. Trying to get home in the post New Year rush. It was the January sales and everyone was out in the streets shopping. Lucy ran in her wedding dress through the crowds. Threading through the gaps like through the eye of a needle. Destined to get home and be safe.

She reached her road. Her street. Her block. There it was. Her flat stood firmly on the floors above and called to her as a beacon of safety. Right there. Where it always had been. Where it always was in this rushed, confusing time where even Lucy wasn't sure which way was up. Things had gone so fast over the past few weeks, that home seemed like heaven.

She slowed her pace as she walked into the forecourt and beheld the view of her usually mundane set of flats. Normally a place she had yearned to get away from, but now it was her haven. A cradle in which she could hide away until this whole thing blew over.

'Hey. Luce' Came a familiar voice. Lucy stopped in her tracks. Slipping a bit on the melted snow. She beamed and looked down to her feet before turning back on the face of Joe Fusco Junior. The self-confessed fool of the block of flats and yet the one face Lucy could bear to see right now.

'Joe.'

'You ok? You look a little…er…upset. What 'appened? 'As that pretty guy been nasty to ya?' He sidled over, swaggering in his usual manner. His shirt front was wide open even in the midst of winter and an air of authority laced his every step.

'No…No…It wasn't him. It'll all be fine. It'll blow over in a week or two.' She smiled. The feeling that always surfaced when she spoke to Joe Junior was starting to make its presence known. The necessity to stay and talk but the inner urge to run away before your brain fell asleep. She couldn't fight it today. Not in her wedding dress. 'It's getting kinda cold, Joe. I'm gonna head on in. If that's ok?'

'Hey Lucy. Anythin's okay with me. An' rememba…if you need anythin' sortin' out….i know karate.' He let his arms out as if to welcome in the eminence of his might. Lucy smiled to herself, thanked Joe and headed to the door which led to her flat. Every footstep closer was a footstep further away from trouble.

Lucy pulled open the door, aware that Joe Junior had now turned away and was sauntering back to his own tenancy. She then ran up the stairs as fast as her steadily frozen limbs would carry her and, with the key that she had kept in her coat pocket, fumbled the lock of the door and fell in to her flat. She kicked her shoes from her tired feet, unaware of where they landed; only hoping that they hadn't hit anything like a vase or the cat. Then slowly, but surely, she made her way towards the sofa in the darkness and sat. She reclined in the chair and allowed all her stresses to flow out of her. From that moment on she would be free. Free of what she had lost mere minutes ago and free of the pain it would bring to her if she thought about any of that family. Peter, Ox, Midge, Mary, Elsie, Saul and…

*KNOCK KNOCK*

*KNOCK KNOCK*

It was Joe, wasn't it? Just when Lucy didn't need anybody and certainly not anybody trying on her shoes! Lucy yelled into one of the couch pillows before recalling her inner strength and sitting upright on the sofa staring forward.

'It's going to be fine. Just get over this hurdle and it'll be fine. Remember…keep cool and calm and try not to bite his head off. Right…calm.' She repeated to herself over and over as she neared the door. Her hand lingered on the door handle as she composed herself to fend off Joe's approaches. Right. Three, two, one…

She flung the door open.

'Joe, like I sai…' But her words stopped. Her hand dropped from the door to her side and she stared shocked at the man who stood in front of her. He was leaning against the doorframe, leaning on his right elbow, which allowed his hair to flop in front of his face, like she had always liked it to do. His eyes sparkled in the cold and her heart warmed to him. Who else could it have been but Jack. The man she loved. But she was still distraught and overcome with emotion. This wasn't the time for him to see her.

'I...I thought I'd…' Jack stuttered. He wasn't quite sure why he had come. Only that his overriding thought was that she loved him. He didn't know really why he'd followed her. 'Wanted to make sure you'd gotten home safely. Can I come in?' Lucy suddenly realised that she'd been gaping at him since she'd seen his face. She supposed it was shock, but it was still very rude to keep him waiting so she stepped back from the door and ushered him in.

'And…and why wouldn't I get home safely?' She inquired. Watching his every step as he cautiously stumbled in to her flat. Every move he made was poetry to her eyes. 'Maybe you should have more consideration for Peter. Your brother.'

'Well, Peter wasn't the one who ran from his own wedding ceremony and proceeded to run through Chicago in the midst of winter…in a wedding dress.' Lucy suddenly remembered that she was still in the dress. A memory of the day that would haunt her. 'Or at least I hope he didn't run home in a wedding dress. Not again.' Jack tried to joke, with all the sincerity that he could push into words. Lucy smirked.

'So what are you really doing here Jack Callaghan? Why did you follow me home and leave your brother behind?' Lucy enquired, turning on Jack. He stood in the middle of the main room of the apartment. He felt like he was being persecuted for a crime he had not yet committed.

'I wanted to give you the reason not to marry my brother.' Jack smiled. Thinking of the words she had used only a few evenings previously. He couldn't have given her an answer then and there, he still respected and loved his brother and wanted everything to be right for him. Now, he could tell the truth. He could tell her he loved her and always had done.

'No, Jack.' A silence fell. Jack stood somewhat taken aback. He hadn't expected much of a reply, she was still in shock. It was just the sharp response that had hit him. It was simple, it was wondering, it wasn't what he'd wanted to hear.

'What?' Jack questioned. Just to satisfy a question that everyone gets in their mind when someone doesn't reciprocate like they should've done. Why?

'Why do you have to do this now? If you loved me, why couldn't you have told me a few nights ago before this whole thing blew up in my face?' Lucy's voice was rising. She didn't mean for it to. Maybe it was the situation. Maybe it was the cold wind coming in from the open window. Maybe it was the fact that she was standing in her wedding dress, listening to the brother of the man she was supposed to marry tell her that he loved her an hour after she'd ran because she didn't want to hurt the family more.

'Because I thought you were engaged to my brother'

'Why did you think that?'

'I had no reason not to.' An excuse he'd used only days before when Mary had declared that Lucy had been pregnant. Of course it had all turned out to be a lie. Doubly so in the last few hours. ' Lucy, what matters is that now I know the truth and I still love you for it.' Jack stared at Lucy. He did love her, more than he'd ever loved anybody before. He couldn't quite explain it. All he knew was that it felt wonderful. And he understood that she would be in shock and perhaps need some time. It's just that rejection always hurt, no matter the understandings.

'Don't do this.' Lucy looked down to the floor, anywhere but Jack's eyes, which drew her in like a moth to a flame. 'If you loved me you wouldn't just swoop on in like a hawk after disappointment. I love you, but I can't let you do this and allow it to ruin your family. They're too precious and I won't allow it! You know how much family means. God Jack, we've talked about it often enough. You know what this could do to your family and I can't be responsible for that. Please, don't let me be the reason for tearing your family apart.' Jack looked at her. She was right of course. Up until now, Jack hadn't cared what would happen to his family, but through all the times he had spent with Lucy, he had discovered that family was the most precious thing in the world. He loved his family more than words could permit, but recently he'd been focussed on Lucy and now with the break up, this would break more ties. He knew how much his family meant to Lucy too. She had become like a sister over the past few weeks. It was almost unbelievable. But now wasn't the time to ruminate. Jack looked once more into Lucy's eyes. They sparkled like diamonds, even in her stressed state. He walked forward, leaning in, took her hand and kissed it. Then, not looking back, he left the apartment and walked back to his family. Unaware that Lucy was watching him all the way until he stepped out of sight.

She loved him. She did so very much, but it couldn't happen like this. Not after the wedding. Now she wasn't sure if she'd see him again. Had the man she loved just walked out of her life forever? She'd never know.

-x-x-x-

As those who have seen the film know, obviously they do end up together; I just felt that this little scene needed to be written.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. xxx