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Drawing you

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After that first disastrous incident, Jean knows better than to look at Lucien's sketching notebooks. It is not even that she thinks Lucien would mind anymore, considering they have long stopped being just the doctor and the housekeeper. Sometimes, it even seems to Jean that Lucien leaves his notebook out in the open intentionally.

Still, she does not want to intrude. As an immensely private person who now has to learn to share parts of her life with a partner all over again, she understands the need to keep some things your own. It is not about hiding something from the other person, it is about retaining some parts of yourself just for yourself.

But, learning to share is nice too, Jean thinks with a smile.

So no, Jean does not intend to look in Lucien's notebook. But she does not notice that it was on top of the duvet when pulls it off the bed in order to change the sheets on Lucien's bed, and it clatters onto the floor and falls open.

Ready to shut it quickly and set it on the nightstand, Jean bends down to pick it up. However, something catches her attention.

Her face.

Instead of the nightmarish pictures of battle fields and internment camps she expects, she sees her own face reflected back at her. So her good intentions fall to the side, and she picks up the notebook carefully and looks more closely.

Both pages have drawings of her. The one on the right is a drawing of her face up close. In the picture, she is looking slightly to the side and down, with a smile on her face.

The drawing on the left is a full-length depiction of her. She seems to be in some kind of motion and she has a duster of all things in her hand. Suddenly, she realises that she isn't just moving in the picture, she is dancing. A half-forgotten memory niggles at the back of her mind, as she looks at the picture but she is jarred out of her train of thought by a sound at the door.

Jean looks up sharply, seeing Lucien at the doorway. He looks at the notebook in her hands and actually blushes. She wonders if she has ever seen Lucien blush.

Jean snaps the notebook shut, "Lucien, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry, it just fell-".

He cuts her off with a gentle assurance. "I know you wouldn't."

How far they have come, she thinks.

Jean pauses for a moment, both wanting to give him back the privacy she accidentally breached but also immensely curious about the drawings. It is her in them, after all.

Lucien remains silent at the doorway, looking more and more charmingly embarrassed. It is a far cry from the angry defensiveness that he exuded the first time she looked at his notebook. If anything, it seems as if he is waiting to see what her reaction is.

Jean raises the notebook slightly in her hand, the pages still open. "You know, no one has ever drawn me before," she teases.

Lucien continues to blush but a mischievous look lurks behind his eyes. "Now that is a shame."

Possibilities race through Jean's mind at his tone. Possibilities of more daring drawings. Now it is her turn to fight a blush.

She closes the notebook, gently cradling it between her hands. "I really did not mean to look, Lucien." She wants to reassure him once again, her tone serious.

Lucien takes the three steps separating her and cups her cheek. "I know, Jean. I am not upset." Jean settles her right hand on his shoulder, her forearm pressed against his bicep. "But you know that you can look if you want to. What is mine is yours, remember?"

"I think that part comes after the vows." Despite her argument, she is delighted by his statement.

"I think that part came long ago, darling."

Even though everything tells her that kissing Lucien in his bedroom in broad daylight with no one else in the house is definitely a Bad Idea, Jean can't help herself and leans in to kiss him. Ever since the evening in the kitchen, Lucien has been careful not to push her too far. She is immensely grateful for his thoughtfulness, his consideration for her boundaries proving how right her decision to marry this man has been; however, sometimes she wants to throw propriety out the window and push him past a point of no return.

Before her desire can overrule her common sense, Lucien pulls back, placing a gentle kiss on her cheek.

However, he does not withdraw from her so they stay there, leaning into each other, surrounded by sunlight, for several minutes.

"I have two notebooks." Lucien's careful words startle her out of her daydream-like state. "Well, I have many but most of them are full already." Jean grips his hand more firmly. "Putting my nightmares on paper helps. It helps me sort out my mind. But even when I don't have bad dreams, I can't sleep sometimes. So I started to draw other things too. Things that bring me joy." He pauses. "People who bring me joy."

He takes the notebook from her hand and flips through the pages. She sees drawings of places, most of them she recognises from Ballarat. She sees detailed drawings of their kitchen and their sunroom. She sees pages of sketches of Li, both as a young child and as an adult, and her heart once again aches for Lucien. She also sees drawings of Matthew, Alice, Mattie, Charlie and Danny. However, she seems to feature most frequently, making up at least a third of the sketches. Drawings of her abound, in various state of completion. Some depict just her features, others are of her in fully realised backgrounds. The pictures are carefully drawn and detailed. They are soft and light, unlike the distressing pictures she saw so long ago.

"Oh Lucien," she whispers, tearing her eyes away from the notebook in his hands and looking up. The idea of Lucien drawing her from memory (and it has to be memory because she can’t remember ever seeing him with this notebook in hand) fills her with emotion.

"You," Lucien's eyes fix steadily on hers. "You bring me joy, Jean."

Somehow, the weight of Lucien’s confession makes her feel lighter than she has ever felt. She knows that even if they live their entire lives in absolute bliss (as if that were possible), those darker parts of Lucien will always be there. It doesn’t frighten her. If it frightened her, she and Lucien would not be where they are. But her heart settles with the knowledge that Lucien is learning balance.

The hand that is resting on Lucien's shoulder moves to cradle his cheek. "You bring me joy too." Jean feels her eyes fill with tears but refuses to let them spill over.

Lucien turns his face and kisses her wrist. "I intend to do that for the rest of our lives."

Jean doesn't think she has ever heard a promise better than that.