Lucy stared at herself in the mirror and looked herself over from head to toe to make sure everything was perfect. Her hair was down, swooped over on shoulder with her natural curls falling just below her collarbone. She had on a knee-length maroon colored dress that was high to her neck, but had a gorgeous scooped back. She had bought it just for the evening that she and Tim were about to share. It was their one year anniversary. Tim was taking her back to the restaurant where they had their first date. Lucy grabbed her lipstick and applied a coat of the light pink color to her lips. It was just enough to accentuate the natural color of her lips. As she resealed the tube and tossed it in her black clutch, her phone rang. Lucy picked it up from the nightstand. It was Tim.
"Hey, are you almost here?" Lucy asked as she answered.
"Actually…I got held up."
"Oh," Lucy replied, a little disappointed.
"Yeah, I'm still at the station."
Lucy glanced at the time on her phone. Their reservation was in half an hour and the restaurant was a little outside of town. Lucy remembered Tim had specifically chosen the location so that they wouldn't run into anyone they knew at the restaurant. That felt like an eternity ago.
"Do you want me to meet you at the restaurant?" Lucy asked. "That would save you some time so you don't have to stop here first to pick me up."
Lucy took a quick look around, trying to remember where she had put her keys. She wasn't at her apartment because her apartment wasn't really hers anymore. Although her name was technically still on the lease, she had officially moved into Tim's place a few months prior after their conversation about moving in together. It had proven to be a great move. Tim and Lucy were happier than ever and things were working out great with Tamara and her new roommate.
"Actually, could you come here?" Tim asked.
"To the station?"
"Yeah, my truck was making a strange noise this morning so I brought it to the department's service guys today and they weren't able to get to it so it's still sitting in the garage."
"Didn't you just have your truck serviced?" Lucy wondered.
"I guess they missed something last time."
"I think you need to take your truck to a different mechanic."
"If you can pick me up, we can probably still make the reservation," Tim suggested.
"Yeah, ok," Lucy agreed. "I'll leave right now."
"Thanks, babe. See you soon."
Slightly perturbed that Lucy was going to have to drive in her brand new pair of nude heels, she grabbed her clutch, took one last look at herself in the mirror, located her keys next to the kitchen sink, and headed off to get her man.
With a little more traffic than usual due to it being the tail end of rush hour, it took Lucy nearly fifteen minutes to get to the station. There was no way they were going to make their reservation. Lucy texted Tim that she had arrived and was waiting for him outside. He didn't answer right away. Knowing the restaurant was at least thirty minutes away and that the restaurant could give away their reservation if they arrived more than fifteen minutes late, Lucy looked up the number for the restaurant quickly on her phone and dialed.
"Hi," she said when the phone was answered by a young female voice. "I have a reservation tonight for 7:00. Unfortunately, we're running a little late. Is there any way we could push it to 7:30?"
"What's the name?" The anonymous woman on the other end of the phone asked.
"It should be under Tim. Tim Bradford."
There was a pause. "I'm sorry. I don't have any reservation under that name."
"Oh. How about Lucy Chen?"
Another pause. "No, I'm sorry."
Lucy furrowed her brow, confused. "Ahh…ok. Could we make a reservation for 7:30?"
"I'm sorry. We're fully booked tonight."
Lucy decided she wasn't above begging. "Please? It's just that it's our first anniversary tonight and we had our first date at your restaurant and I thought my boyfriend had made a reservation, but…"
"I'm sorry. We're fully booked tonight. There's nothing I can do."
"Right, of course," Lucy said, trying to keep the frustration out of her voice. "Thank you for your time."
Partially annoyed and partially confused, Lucy got out of the car. Carrying her clutch, she walked into the station, her new heels clicking against the cement.
"Lucy, hey," Nolan said as she practically ran straight into him in the hallway. He was still in his uniform. "Wow, you look nice.
"Thanks. Have you seen Tim?"
"Oh right, tonight is your one year anniversary date night."
"Yeah, except we're running late and the restaurant doesn't have our names on the books for a reservation, which is weird because Tim is usually really good about that kind of stuff."
"Huh, yah, that is weird. I think I saw Tim in the briefing room. I'll walk with you."
"Ok," Lucy responded somewhat suspiciously. "What are you still doing here anyway? Didn't your shift end a few hours ago?"
"Yeah, but, you know, paperwork."
As they approached the briefing room, Lucy saw Angela, Harper, Thorsen, and Celina inside. Nolan started to walk in as if it were the most normal thing in the world for all of them to be there at 7:00 in the evening when all of their shifts ended earlier in the day. Lucy stopped outside of the room, and grabbed Nolan's arm.
"What is going on?" She asked.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Nolan answered quickly.
"What is everyone doing here? DId Grey call a meeting or something? Should I change into my uniform?"
"No, definitely don't do that," Nolan said.
"Nolan, tell me what's happening."
"I…can't do that."
"Because Tim is my sergeant and he told me not to."
"Tim is in on this?" Lucy exclaimed. "Is this some sort of weird Tim test or something?"
"I wouldn't call it that exactly. Please, just follow me."
Nolan walked into the briefing room and immediately sat at the table off to the left in the front row. As Lucy opened her mouth to say something to the others who were standing and sitting around, having conversations with each other, Sergeant Grey walked in.
"Alright, let's get started," he announced, walking up to the podium. Lucy was still standing at the front of the room, feeling ridiculous in her dress and heels. She turned to Grey.
"Sir, I don't know what is going on, but no one told me we were having a meeting and I…" Lucy began.
"Officer Chen, please take a seat," Grey interrupted.
"Sit, Officer Chen."
Nolan gestured to the chair beside him. Lucy glanced at each of the other people in the room. People she had grown to trust and to care for like family members. They all took a seat and gave her the same look Nolan was giving her. They wanted her to sit down.
"Wait, is it Tim?" Lucy asked. "Is he ok? Did something happen? I mean, I just talked to him, but…" Lucy cut herself off as she looked around at everyone in the room. No one was answering her and everyone looked stoic. "What is going on?"
"Lucy, just sit down," Nolan said under his breath.
With an exasperated sigh, Lucy sat down next to Nolan.
"Now, let's begin," Grey continued. "Thank you for the overtime tonight. We have an important announcement this evening. I'm going to have Sergeant Bradford deliver the message."
Lucy looked to the doorway as TIm walked in. But he wasn't wearing his uniform like everyone else was. He was in a black suit and black tie. The suit fit him so well that Lucy's mouth went dry. Grey stepped away from the podium so that Tim could step up to it.
"Thank you all for coming to this important meeting," Tim began. "I wanted to bring you all here in this place where Lucy and I first met to not make an announcement, but to ask a question." He locked eyes with Lucy. "A very important question."
It was then that Lucy realized that she was in the exact same seat she sat in when she was first assigned to Tim as his rookie. Just like that day, Nolan was to her left. The seat to her right sat empty. She knew it was where Jackson should have been. Tears sprang to her eyes, but she blinked them away. She looked behind her. Some of the faces had changed from that very first day she had met Tim, but the fact of the matter was that she was surrounded by the people she cared most about.
"Lucy, will you join me up here?" Tim asked.
Lucy slowly turned back to him. She could feel the love emanating from his body. Even though she still wasn't sure exactly what was going on, she rose from her chair and made her way to Tim who stepped out from behind the podium.
"What is going on?" She whispered to him.
"You're about to find out," he replied quietly. He leaned in to whisper in her ear. "And you look beautiful."
"Thank you, but…"
Tim took her hand and spoke more loudly so everyone could hear. "Lucy, when we first sat in this room together, Sergeant Grey jokingly said he was playing the training officer match game. What he didn't know was that his words were true for us. He matched us together, not knowing then that he was truly making a match. What I didn't know then was that I would fall in love with you a little more every day that I was with you. I want to continue falling in love with you a little more every day forever."
Tim pulled a small black box out of his pocket. He got down on one knee. Lucy brought her hands to her mouth. It was all making sense. Why he had her come to the station. Why there was no dinner reservation. Why everyone was still there. Tim had planned the perfect proposal in a place that was more meaningful to them than anywhere else surrounded by the most important people to both of them.
"Lucy Chen, will you marry me?"
"Yes!" She exclaimed, a tear rolling down her cheek. "Of course! Yes, I'll marry you!"
Tim practically leapt to his feet. She threw her arms around his neck and they kissed each other like they were the only two people in the world. Their friends erupted in clapping and shouts of joy and happiness around them. When they finally parted from their kiss, Tim slipped the ring on Lucy's left hand. It was a perfectly cut princess diamond. Lucy stared at it for a moment, letting the ring sparkle in the overhead fluorescent lights. Before she knew what was happening, Lucy was suddenly bombarded. Nolan hugged her first while Grey shook Tim's hand and clapped him on the back. From outside in the hallway streamed in Wesley, James, Bailey, and Tamara. Wesley and James were wheeling in a rolling cart that had two champagne bottles, enough champagne flutes for everyone, and a cake that said congratulations. Everyone took turns hugging and looking at Lucy's ring.
"I can't believe you planned all of this," Lucy said when she finally got Tim alone in the corner of the room a little while later. Everyone else was snacking on cake and sipping champagne, chatting enthusiastically.
"Well, I thought about proposing in the shop where we spent most of our time together, but that felt like it would have been a little crowded with all of our friends there."
Lucy laughed. "This was perfect."
"It seemed fitting to do it here where it all started, surrounded by some of the people who were there when it started."
Lucy looked back to the chair Jackson had occupied on that first day they were together as rookies. She smiled at the memory of him. Everyone in that room had been through a lot together - heartache, happiness, losing loved ones, growing families. As Lucy looked around, she knew everyone in that room was her extended family. She looked back at Tim with a smile on her face. She took both of his hands in hers.
"I can't wait to marry you," she said.
Tim leaned in for a kiss. Their friends started clapping loudly.
"I've had the ring for months," Tim explained. "But I was waiting until everything with Kelsey and all of the legal stuff was over."
"I'm glad she's out of our lives," Lucy replied.
It had taken months for Kelsey to be found guilty of attempted murder on Lucy. Even though she wasn't the one wielding the knife that had stabbed Lucy repeatedly, she had orchestrated it. She was sentenced to 25 to life for the stabbing and another 5 years for all of the lying she had done that had cost Russ his job. Eventually she confessed to it all, saving everyone from a lengthy trial. Still, the judicial process took a long time. Eventually Russ got his job back on the police force and had even been repairing his relationship with his wife. Although Tim hated that Lucy had been the victim of such a brutal attack by a woman obsessed with him, he was glad that justice had been served in the end and that Kelsey would never again get to ruin another man's career.
"I don't ever want to think about her again," Tim said.
"So, let's not," Lucy replied. "Let's celebrate with our friends and start thinking about our life together as husband and wife."
"I can't wait to call you my wife," Tim said as his lips found hers.
"Toast!" Grey exclaimed, holding up his champagne glass. Tim and Lucy parted with a blush. Nolan handed both Tim and Lucy a glass. Tim slipped his arm around Lucy's waist.
"To two of the best," Grey said. "To the once upon a time hotshot rookie who became one fine police officer to the once upon a time strictest TO Mid-Wilshire has ever seen who became a big softie…"
"Hey!" Tim protested in jest.
"Ok, maybe not a complete softie," Grey admitted. "But you certainly have changed since meeting Lucy."
Tim looked down at Lucy. "I certainly have."
"You two have beat the odds to find your one in a million. You deserve all of the happiness in the world. To Officer Chen and Sergeant Bradford. To Tim and Lucy. Congratulations!" Grey concluded.
Everyone lifted their glasses and toasted, clinking their glasses against each other. Tim and Lucy shared another short kiss. It wasn't like them to show their affection at work, but this was a party celebrating their love. As they lovingly looked into each other's eyes, Thorsen grabbed his phone and turned on some music that had a fast beat. After moving some of the tables out of the way to make space, everyone started to dance. Taking Lucy's hand, Tim led her out to the middle of the impromptu dance floor. He twirled her around and then held her in his arms as they swayed to the music.
"I love you, Lucy Chen. And I promise to always love you. Today. Tomorrow. Forever."
"I love you, too."
And they sealed their love with a kiss.
Author's Note: Ok, wow, that's it! I don't think I have ever written a story this fast. I started on December 20th and finished writing on January 11th. 17 chapters in 22 days, which is pretty good for me considering the holidays and work keeps me pretty busy (not to mention I started a second Chenford story somewhere in the middle of all this). But, I was just so inspired by the last few episodes of this season after realizing that Chenford was actually going to be a reality on the show (which I had been hoping for since watching The Rookie since episode 1). I have never posted a chapter a day on any story either so I'm proud of myself for getting it all out there to my readers in a timely manner. Thank you to everyone for reading and don't forget to check out my other story called Days Go By.