Coming Home: Alan-Michael and Lucy Spaulding

Note: A one shot scene that occurs after the Bauer Bar-B-Que in Chapter Three.  I always thought that Alan-Michael and Lucy Cooper deserved a reunion, and they both should have returned for the final episodes.  So as you could see by Chapter Three I changed this oversight and we saw the Real Alan-Michael (Rick Herbst) accompanied by Lucy Cooper and their son.  But what about after the BBQ? 

Lucy and Alan-Michael

The two brothers and their families walked toward their vehicles when the Bauer BBQ finally came to an end. The rest of the night had been spend catching up with family and friends and surprisingly enough there had only been brief instances of awkwardness since Alan-Michael had made his grand apology to the entire town. But that didn’t mean the scars wouldn’t always be there, but with enough time perhaps the ache would be reduced to a mild discomfort. When they reached their cars everyone gave the brothers a discreet distance to say their goodbyes, “Do you want to come back to the house? There is more than enough room.”

Though he knew Phillip made the offer sincerely, Alan-Michael wasn’t ready to set foot in that house just yet. Too many memories, the majority of them not of the pleasant variety. “Thanks for the offer but Lucy and I have a room over at the Beacon.”

Phillip nodded as though he understood his brother’s reluctance at being under the Spaulding roof so soon, “Just so you know the door is always open. And I hope you think about what we talked about. Life is too short for us to still be at odds.”

“I’ll talk it over with Lucy and give you a call later.” He grinned in amusement.  He never would have thought he’d see the day when Phillip and he would actually be civil to one another.  It was nice. “I assume the number is the same.  Not much changes in this town.”

“Yet somehow after being away for a while that fact becomes oddly appealing.” Then without warning Phillip impulsively reached out and pulled his brother into a tight embrace. “I’m glad you’re back. Hopefully this marks a new beginning.  For us and for Spaulding.  It’d be nice to work with you instead of against you.”

Alan-Michael stood uncomfortable in his brother’s arms for several long seconds until he tentatively moved his arms up to return his brother’s hug, “New beginnings. Not making you any promises, but not lying either.”

“I can work with that.”

***

The streets were nearly deserted by the time Alan-Michael began driving his family toward the Beacon.  After so many years away from Springfield both Lucy and him had been content to simply drive around and get reacquainted with the place that would always be considered home.  Who knew that nearly running down Lucy with his car would lead to love?  Beside one headstrong Lucy Cooper of course.  Lucy leaned her head back against the plush seat and looked at her husband, “Maybe what they say is true. All roads lead back to Springfield.  Can’t believe how much I missed this place.”

Alan-Michael laughed though he didn’t take his eyes off the road. “You miss the small town gossip?  Everybody knowing everyone else’s business?”

Lucy sighed. “No.  I miss laughing with Bridget and David over a game of cards at the boarding house.  Or going dancing at the Roadhouse.  I guess I just miss being a part of a tight-knit community like Springfield.  Or maybe I’m just being nostalgic.”

“I was talking to Michelle’s husband Danny tonight. He and his cousin Tony have been fixing up 5th Street in a big way.  They are even working with Lewis Construction to convert some old buildings into a community center down there this fall.”

When Alan-Michael turned and parked the car beside the lake Lucy sat up straight. “This isn’t the hotel!  You better not be planning anything dirty Alan-Michael, your son is right in the back seat sleeping.” When her husband just grinned mischievously Lucy broke out in laughter. “You are bad Alan-Michael.”

“You like me that way.” He leaned across the center consul and kissed her soundly before returning to his seat, “But really I wanted to talk to you. And it was such a pretty night I didn’t want to be holed up in our hotel room.”

Lucy gestured for him to continue so he did. “Phillip made me a business offer today. To be C0-CEO of Spaulding alongside him.  Said life was too short to be at odds and we should be running the business alongside each other.  I told him I had to talk it over with you first and see what you had to say.”

When Lucy had heard the words ‘business offer’ she had turned her head to look out her window.  Nothing good have ever come from Alan-Michael working at Spaulding. Yet he had coveted that CEO position like a marathon runner and a golden trophy, and she had tried to be the patient and understanding wife.  And later, after they had moved to France it had become worse.  The long business meetings and the frequent overnight trips until he had eventually strayed and broken her heart. It had taken years to rebuild her life after that. And though Alan-Michael and her had worked hard at repairing the damage Lucy wasn’t sure she could go through all the power plays in that family again. It would pull her apart, and this time she had to think about their son as well.  But she knew her husband, knew that gleam in his eye.  This was a chance to get back some of what he had lost, some of his self-respect and perhaps gain a relationship with his brother in the process.   So like many Spaulding wives before her she whispered the invariable truth, “Spaulding Enterprises is your destiny.”

Alan-Michael reached out with his finger and tilted her face so she was looking at him once again, “No. You are my destiny.”

“Want me to be honest?” When Alan-Michael nodded she continued, “Tonight at the bar-b-que it was so perfect I almost didn’t want the night to end.  It takes a lot to admit when you’re wrong, and you stood before half the town and apologized.  Frank didn’t even punch you, though I am sure Blake had a bit to do with that.   It was fun to watch you and Michelle beat Rick at washers, his face was priceless!  And even though our son met his cousins for the frist time it was like love at first sight.  I want my dad and Frank to get to know Michael, he is such a great kid.  So much like you it’s kind of scary.  But overall the night was perfect.” She paused before looking at him with a hint of sadness, “But I am afraid.  Afraid that the all-powerful Spaulding lure will tear us apart again.”

“Oh Lucy, it wasn’t Spaulding that tore us apart last time.  It was me.  I lost sight of us, what our love meant, and screwed up the best thing in my life.  And without you in my life I hurt just about everyone; family and friend alike.  I can’t really blame Alan for running me out-of-town, I deserved it.  And that road led me back to you, where I belong.  You are the best part of me Lucy.  You and Michael.”

Lucy thought about all Alan-Michael said, and more.  About the past, about his mistakes and even her own.  If they stayed in Springfield Alan-Michael and Phillip had the chance to build a real relationship, as brothers, instead of rivals for their father’s affection.  Their son could grow up around family; Spaulding, Bauer, and Cooper and all the ones related by marriage.  “If we do this I hope Phillip knows we are a package deal.  Not that I don’t trust you but I make a damn good executive assistant.”

Alan-Michael laughed loudly before catching himself. He checked to see if he had woken Michael, seeing that the child still slept peacefully he leaned in and pulled Lucy toward him, “Hiring you was the best decision I ever made.  I sure do love you Lucy Spaulding and when get back to the Beacon I’m going to show you how much.”

She gestured for him to hurry up.  “Well what are you waiting for? Let’s get going!’

As Alan-Michael once again pulled the car back onto the dark and deserted road headed toward the Beacon Hotel, Lucy squeezed the hand he still held tight in hers. “I sure do love you too Alan-Michael Spaulding.  I always said I was going to marry you, I am just glad the second time took.”

And as they drove through Springfield Lucy looked through the window with new appreciation.  This was no longer just a visit, this was returning to where they both belonged.  Where they both fell in love.  It really was true what they said, all roads did lead back to Springfield.

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