Author's note and a thank you: I posted my first fic one year ago today. I had never been much for fanfiction before that point. I intended to write one scene that I had dreamed up in my head, get it out of my system, and get on with my life. Instead it started a journey of self discovery that I never expected. So my thanks to all my readers, reviewers, the Blake Army, and my dear co-conspirators on tumblr. Without your encouragement I never would have got here.
This is a season 1 AU that starts off in S1E5, "Hearts and Flowers." In this story Anthony Farmer wasn't the killer, Anthony Farmer and Angela Waterston really were a happy couple and the wedding went ahead as planned.
Jean brought out a tray of tea and and was only half listening as she served Angela, Anthony, and the Doctor. Angela claimed they were here under false pretenses and wanted to ask the doctor something. Talk of the wedding got her attention.
"I've known you and your father my whole life. Would you walk me down the aisle?"
Lucien glanced up at Jean with a stunned look on his face. Jean nodded nervously. Lucien had only been in town for a few months. He had made more enemies than friends and had not adjusted to town life well, and now Angela was asking him to play a prominent role in a society wedding.
"Of course there will be dancing and as the stand in in father you will be expected to dance the second waltz with me."
Lucien again glanced up at Jean and she tried to look more encouraging, mentally willing him to accept. Would he really be so callous as to refuse her? Much to Jean's relief Lucien raised his tea cup and nodded graciously.
"But of course. I'd love to."
Jean ushered them out a few minutes later promising to help Angela tailor her wedding dress, for which Angela was grateful. She was such a sweet woman, graceful in the face of certain death, always kind to those around her. Jean wondered not for the first time or the hundredth why god took good people so soon while the scum of the earth seemed to live forever.
That was the last it was spoken of for many weeks. Lucien was caught up with the case, trying to catch Professor Ormond's killer. Jean was busy with her usual work as well as entertaining a few women from the garden club hoping for pointers on growing the perfect begonia. She thought this was a bit much. Winning honorable mention at the Begonia Festival was not that much to be proud of in her mind but she suspected they were too scared to ask Nick Manos for help. Angela had never brought around her dress and Jean had all but forgotten about the wedding until an invitation arrived in the mail with "Mrs. Jean Beazely & Guest" elaborately spelled out on the envelope in a grand, florid script. Another envelope was addressed separately to "Dr. Lucien Blake & Guest."
Angela stood by her word and soon after she had engaged both Jean and Lucien separately in wedding preparations. Every time the topic of the wedding came up Lucien looked like a deer caught in headlights and Jean began to worry. Since he had moved in Lucien seemed to chafe at small town life and being forcibly integrated into high society made him very uncomfortable. Jean could see it but believed it might be good for him in the long run. His father had no problem interacting with Ballarat society and it was time Lucien engaged with his own community. She told him as much over dinner one night. His reaction was less than encouraging.
Rather than try to hound him to an appointment, Jean invited Angela and Anthony over for tea and insisted Lucien attend. This way Jean could at least make sure he was meeting with them as promised. With a plan in place for the day and a list of assigned duties, Lucien seemed slightly more at ease with the situation and the weeks leading up to the wedding were calm. He even practiced waltzing with Mattie several evenings in the parlour. Jean smiled as she watched them over her knitting. He really was quite good, even if he didn't seem to know it.
Jean focused her attention on her own preparations along with Angela's. She decided to splurge on a store bought dress. She had been to many weddings in the community but never one of this status. On her first visit to the shops she fell in love with a peach satin sheath dress, fitted but with a sash tied with a bow at the waist. The sleeveless dress came with a bolero jacket with a scalloped front which would give the dress suitable modesty. Jean already owned a pair of cream colored heels that would go perfectly. She even had a few heirloom pieces of jewelry that would match.
Jean had not dared broach the subject of who Lucien intended to bring to the wedding, if anyone. It would not be an appropriate thing to ask an employer. She wasn't aware of any lady friends he had in town, but she might be the last to know. Jean however had no intention of being seen alone at the wedding of the year. She had asked Robert Manifold, a longtime friend from the church drama society. He was mousy and a little on the dull side, but he was pleasant enough and unlike Lucien she would not have to worry about babysitting him throughout the evening. Jean was careful about how she phrased the invite, asking him to escort her as a favor. She did not want him to think she had romantic intentions. Robert greeted the offer with great enthusiasm leading Jean to wonder what she had got herself into.
Two weeks before the wedding Lucien was invited to a Waterston family dinner, a wedding rehearsal of sorts. Jean made sure to clear his schedule and did not let him run off with the police on a case. She was not about to let him get out of it now. Jean stood with him at the door to see him off, asking him to tell Angela to come by to try on the dress. Lucien nodded and straightened his tie as Jean placed his fedora on his head and handed him his coat.
"Quite. Now this shouldn't be too hard. Just smile and nod a lot and do what you're told."
Lucien suddenly paused and looked Jean over, modestly attired in a patterned white and brown house dress.
"Uh Jean, aren't you coming with me?"
"Tonight? No, why would I?"
"Well you're my guest. I'm sure they'd expect you to."
"Your guest for what?"
"For Angela and Anthony's wedding, of course. I just assumed..."
Jean tried to hide the annoyance in her voice.
"Why would you assume that? Without even asking me about it?"
"Well to be honest I am not sure I'll survive without your help. And I'd hate for you to miss out on the fun."
Jean gritted her teeth and forced a smile.
"Well that's very generous of you to allow me to assist you. However I have my own plans for that night."
Lucien gaped at her, seemingly confused by the rejection.
"But you said you bought a dress for the wedding. I thought you'd intended to go with me. Why else would you do that?"
Jean suppressed the urge to scream.
"I bought a dress because I was invited. I'll have you know I received my own invitation. So thank you very much but I don't need your charity."
Lucien struck a conciliatory tone.
"Of course you don't, Jean. But surely you're not going to go alone?"
"No, as a matter of fact I am not. Robert Manifold is accompanying me."
"He's a friend from the church drama society. I don't think you know him but I'll be happy to introduce you at the wedding."
"Jean, I didn't mean..."
Jean cut him off. "Enough of this, you're running late!"
She pushed Lucien out the door and slammed it definitively behind him.
A few days later Jean was working at the receptionist's desk when she heard Lucien's voice in the surgery.
"Joy! Lucien Blake, how are you?"
Jean bit her lip. She knew what was coming next.
"Listen, I have a bit of an assignment for you..."
Jean got up and went into the sunroom. She couldn't bear to hear the rest of the conversation and didn't want to see his smug face afterwards. What on earth did he see in that woman? Apart from the obvious, that is. She was attractive and half his age, and that appealed to most men. Yes she was intelligent and shared Lucien's world views, but there was a coldness about her. Jean did not trust her. And even more baffling than Lucien's interest in Joy was what Joy could possibly see in him.
Jean felt a trickle of cold down her leg and suddenly realized she had been watering the same plant for two minutes causing water and dirt to overtop the flower pot. Jean set the watering can down hard on the work bench and sat down at the other end of the room, trying to regain her temper. Jean did not know why this was bothering her so much. It was not her business who Lucien associated with. He was free to take whoever he liked to the wedding. Besides, Jean had turned him down.
Later that evening Lucien proudly announced to Jean over dinner that he would be taking Joy to Angela's wedding. Danny looked disinterested but Jean could feel Mattie's eyes on her. Jean mustered a gracious smile.
"That's nice. I'm sure she'll have a lovely time."