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Story Title: Lucky

Type of story: one-shot

Main Characters: Jack & Martha

BTTB rating: G

Genre: Romance

Does story include spoilers: Nope

Any warnings: No

Summary: A romantic J&M one-shot; need I say more :wub:


J&M one shot.

Seagulls called piercingly to one another, flying low on the horizon with their wings spread out fully to bear best flight in the wind. Grey clouds had begun to gather in the far distance, blending into the pale light as the sun descended over Summer Bay at the end of another brilliantly bright sunny day.

A small breeze had begun to rise, rifling through the long stalks of weeds and grass that graced the sand dunes with their coarse presence. The holidaymakers had long since packed up their belongings and left with screaming children, tired babies and seaside stained clothes. A day at the beach was never without upsets, or accidents but the good memories would for the most part outweigh the bad.

Certainly, for the couple strolling at the waters edge, thongs discarded carelessly much further behind, where they had begun their walk, and hands linked, the beach held a scroll of happy times for them, and only a sprinkling of sorrow.

They looked comfortable together; chatting in low voices now and then, but mostly quiet, lost in their own thoughts yet stilled linked by that connection between them.

Do you ever wonder? Martha asked suddenly, her voice soft but when Jack turned to look at her, he saw the serious tinge flashing in them.

I find myself wondering what it is that you wonder if I wonder about, he answered with a hint of a smile; the same smile that had once made Martha so furious that she longed to rip him to pieces with her bare hands. And, of course the same smile that had made her fall in love with him. Even now, it could still make her weak at the knees and tremble with longing.

I'm being serious, she insisted, ignoring her body's wants. Her gaze pierced through Jack's own eyes. Do you ever wonder what your life would be like, if she hadn't gone?

Sam? Jack understood the peculiar line of questioning at last.

He looked taken aback, she noted, although that was a fair enough reaction. After all, Sam had been the 'other woman' - the one that Jack had taken to be his wife when he and Martha divorced. The one that had turned his world both upside down and around. And of course, the one who tried to make her death look suspicious.

In Martha's eyes, Sam was the devil incarnate, but that was only natural, considering she had married Martha's husband.

Returning to her quesitoning look, Martha saw that Jack was hesitating, turning out to look at the sea as though for inspiration.

You're hesitating, she observed dryly.

He faced her once more, perplexed.

Martha, I'm not hesitating, I'm lost for words. Jack had stopped his steps, and she paused too, a little ahead of him, turning to look at him with large eyes.

Where did that question come from? he queried, a little concerned.

She shrugged, and this time it was she that turned her eyes to the horizon, way beyond the sea. It's just a question, Jack.

No, it's not, he insisted, and they both knew it was far more than that.

I can't help it! she swung around to face him again, and he saw tears shimmering in her eyes; unshed tears that she'd been keeping bottled up.

Treading carefully, but tightening his hold on her hand, Jack said slowly, Martha, love, where's all this coming from? You do know that I wouldn't do anything to change how our life is now, don't you?

The corners of her lips curved, ever so slightly, but did nothing to ease the misery in her eyes as she stared at him for what seemed like eternity.

And then, I know, she answered at last, but he sensed an unfinished sentence in her words.

But... Jack promptly gently.

But I can't help but wonder! she lashed out, on the defensive suddenly. I mean, sure, I had relationships when we broke up, but I didn't go off and get married! Jack; you must have loved her as much as, if not more than me, and I find myself thinking, am I second best? Did you come back to me just because she's gone...

Her voice caught, broke off, agonised that she'd finally spoken aloud the thoughts that had been harrowing her sleep, her dreams, her mind.

Jack could not have looked more aghast at these suggestions. He floundered, a little, in trying to answer. Martha, I, he began, and his voice was hoarse.

She turned away, having seen the torn expression on his face, and the emotions raging through his eyes. Turned to face the sea so he wouldn't see the tears trickling down her face.

She knew she shouldn't have asked him those questions; knew it wasn't fair. Knew too, in her heart that he had loved Sam a great deal; Jack was like that, he only loved for loving.

But it was the last question that really broke her open. The thought that maybe he'd loved Sam more. Maybe he was only with her again because Sam died ... It was more than Martha could bear. But the statistics said that in every relationship, one side was more in love with the other, and perhaps it was that way for her and Jack.

Aghast, Jack stared at her back, seeing how her spine stiffened and her shoulders were held tight and determinedly straight. He ran a hand through his hair carelessly, having never envisioned this line of questioning to arise, and yet now, it seemed perfectly natural.

Sam, he hadn't thought about her in so long.

Going to Martha, he stepped behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his head on her shoulder.

She didn't respond, but he felt her body stiffen at his touch.

Then, murmuring quietly, Jack began to sing.

Do you hear me, I'm talking to you

Across the water, across the deep blue ocean

Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying

Girl I hear you in my dreams

I feel your whisper across the sea

I keep you with me in my heart

You make it easier when life gets hard

Lucky I'm in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky to be coming home again.

Lucky we're in love in every way,

Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed,

Lucky that you took me back again.

You changed the words, Martha said quietly, but he could feel her smiling, and kissed her neck lightly, inhaling her familiar scent.

Then, placing his hands on her hips, Jack turned her to look at him, waiting until he was staring into those large luminous eyes that he loved so much.

Because it's true, he said quietly, honestly. Martha, I don't know what to say. Up until this point, I've never wondered what my life would have been like. Not since I took you in my arms again. I've always loved you, yes, even while I was with Sam, he answered the unasked question in her eyes.

But you still married her. It wasn't a dig, just an honest statement and he took a deep breath.

Yes, I did, and looking back, perhaps I shouldn't have. I loved her for who she was to me, but that's not who she was. And, he looked pained, but knew he had to say it, while she brought me happiness, she didn't bring me fulfilment. I need you to know that. She couldn't.

Why? Martha couldn't help herself asking though a fluttering feeling in her stomach told her she knew what was coming.

Jack looked at her strangely, then sighed. Oh Martha, I thought you knew, he replied tenderly. Because she wasn't you. You are my best friend, my lover, the only one who knows me as well as Dad does. Nobody can ever take your place, or fill the holes that pierce my heart when we fight. If something were to ever happen you, I could never find fulfilment again; you are my life, and without you, it can never have full meaning.

Martha caught her breath. Jack had never spoken to her so romantically before, and as she saw the honesty shining in his eyes, her heart caught, so many butterflies soaring through her emotions.

Unable to say a word, she linked her arms behind his head, pulling him down gently to her as she reached up to kiss him, and Jack caught her in his arms. They kissed briefly, before he dropped one arm beneath her legs and swooped her up into his arms, her hands holding tightly to his shoulders.

Jack! she exclaimed, startled by the sudden movement as her legs swung over his left arm. What are you doing.

I thought it was obvious, he smiled lovingly at her. I'm taking my woman home.

A warm smile rose at her lips, and she stared at him a moment more, taking in his every detail, and knowing in herself, that she too, would never love another like she loved Jack Holden.

Lowering her head to rest on his shoulder, Martha began to sing softly as the sun faded into the growing night sky, and Jack carried his precious cargo home.

Lucky I'm in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky that we're going home again...


the end.

song by Jason Mraz; 'Lucky' sung by Jason Mraz & Colbie Cailat


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