Outtake: Breathe #Lucian
We're back this Friday with a new outtake. Not that anyone will be surprised, but this outtake has been WIDELY requested. Like from everyone, basically everywhere. If someone could send me a DM on my socials, they were ... asking for this particular outtake or something from it. So while this request came from the form, yep, it also it just ... pretty widely asked for.
Basically, from the moment you all learned Lucian had been sick in Contempt, you all wanted this piece. So, it may not be exactly what you wanted - there are some things I just don't personally want to write - but it does deal with Lucian and his
... cancer diagnosis.
And with that being said, onto the outtake.
A Lucian Outtake
One breath after another.
A breath in, and then out.
It seemed like an easy thing to do. Lucian felt almost ... unsure that breathing had always been this easy when suddenly it seemed like he could just do it without the weight that had accompanied the action for a good year or more now.
He stared at the phone in his hand--the screen had long turned blank, the device going into sleep mode because he hadn't kept the touchscreen active. Not that it mattered because while the reflection of the blackened glass only showed his face--weathered with age and life--he could still see what had been there just moments ago.
The phone number.
His doctor's name.
Not the office number. His oncologist's personal cell number that should have been entirely unrelated to work. But somehow, over the period of time in which Lucian had been diagnosed with cancer, headed straight into surgery followed by treatments ... and then today, he'd made a friend in his doctor.
Ralph knew how much had been riding on today. How on edge Lucian would have been waiting for the man to call because they suspected the results of his final tests would finish on the weekend. Which meant they were going to have to wait until Monday rolled around before anything would be properly filed into the systems.
But Ralph had pull.
Doctor shit Lucian didn't understand.
The man promised to get him the results of the tests the very second the computers spat them out. With a shaking voice, though he'd not acknowledged it, Lucian told his friend that it was fine to wait until Monday.
It really wasn't.
Ralph said as much.
"Lucian, you okay?"
From the passenger seat, his wife's hand snaked across the vehicle and found his arm. Her fingertips--still warm and soft and familiar after all these years--drifted over his wrist before locking tight around his hand and the phone.
She stared at him, waiting.
Not quite smiling.
Eyes so wide.
She was worried.
Still trying to process.
So was he.
After all of it?
It came down to a thirty-second phone call that would determine what felt like the rest of his life. Because cancer did that--it stopped everything in its tracks. A lot of things around a person became unimportant when faced with a diagnosis that would absolutely mean death if not treated. And even after ...
Lucian took in another breath.
Jordyn waited him out.
"I just ... I'm breathing," he murmured.
That did make his wife smile. It reminded him of a lot of things--their entire life together, all the promises he'd made her long ago, and how it all eventually came true as one day after another passed them by. All she ever had to do was look at him and smile for everything to instantly get so much better.
He still wasn't great at emoting.
She more than made up for it.
"Cancer free," Lucian interjected quietly.
Jordyn nodded fast. "Yeah, and that's good. It's great."
"It's everything we wanted."
Jordyn let out a burst of noise in a breath. "So why are you over there--"
About to jump out of his fucking skin?
All of that and more.
"I'm just breathing," he said.
Because he was.
And he knew she didn't understand. Although she'd had a scare a few years after Lucia was born when her doctor found a lump--that turned out to be nothing concerning after an initial biopsy with unclear results--Jordyn couldn't understand.
He didn't blame her.
She had been everything to and for him throughout this entire process. The rock to hold him down every step of the way. And when she needed a break, because she was human too, he had others who stepped in to get him through the worst of all of this.
His kids--becoming a father gave Lucian purpose he didn't know existed--kept him laughing and looking forward to what was yet to come. And then there were his brothers ... who let him be weak because his body didn't giver him a choice. Late night chats and some of the best bud he'd ever smoked had him chowing down greasy fast food when he was doing chemo once a week and hadn't been taking in nearly enough calories before.
He didn't wonder how he got through it ...
Just that he did at all.
"What is it?" Jordyn asked him.
All at once, he thought he might know exactly how to explain what that call did for him.
"I didn't realize how hard it's been just to breathe. It's not so hard right now."
Her gaze met his and she slumped back into the passenger seat. Lucian stared out the street, their car still running on the side of the road where he'd pulled over to take the call from Ralph.
He could breathe.
It was like he could finally breathe.