Imagine Claire gets pregnant in voyager after their night at the brothel
They were on the road again. Her arse was still getting used to the business of being in the saddle day after day, and she found she was looking forward to the ship to France… even if Jamie was going to be an utter mess. Perhaps this time, they’d find some way to care for him better. Things were quite different, after all.
She shifted for the thousandth time in her saddle and groaned when her stomach lurched a bit. She felt antsy and slightly ill. Had she eaten something bad? Claire glanced toward Jamie, wondering if he was feeling ill as well, but he was riding next to her, studying her with an intense sort of look that had her shifting in her saddle for an entirely different reason.
“What?” she huffed.
Jamie straightened and blinked as if only then realizing he’d been staring at her- or perhaps just realizing she’d noticed. “Hm?”
“Why are you bloody looking at me like that?”
He rubbed his knuckles against his lips, gaze flicking toward young Ian, who was riding a way ahead of them. Then he looked back to his wife and his lips twitched toward a crooked smile. “Yer hair seems… shinier, Sassenach.”
Claire rolled her eyes. “Yes, it’s turning grey. I didn’t need you to point it out.” Good lord, she was in a mood. Jamie had better just watch himself.
“Nay, Sassenach, it’s only- Hmph.” Now he was rubbing at his chin. Still staring at her, the bloody bastard.
“If you don’t spit it out, James Fraser, I’m going to shove you off your horse in about two seconds.”
“Aye, well- ye’re rather a bit rounder these days. It’s only, I was thinking-”
“Are you calling me bloody fat?!”
“Well no’ in a bad way!” He ducked his head and reached up to run a hand through his hair, looking only slightly guilty, that goofy smile still playing on his lips. “I like ye just fine when you’re soft and round. But that’s no’ what I’m about.” He gave a wave of his hand. “Now I ken yer cycles are likely no’ so regular anymore, but I am thinkin’ ye must be pregnant.”
Claire reined her horse in and Jamie halted with her, watching her as she sat atop the thing, staring at him, utterly dumbfounded. A moment longer of staring, then she promptly turned away and retched. “I bloody- hate you,” she muttered breathlessly, snatching the flask he was offering, and swished out her mouth.
Grinning even wider, Jamie swung down from his horse and walked over to pull Claire down from her own. He pulled her in close and kiss her hard on the mouth, hugging her tightly. “I love ye verra much, Sassenach. Dinna fash, we’re no’ so old yet, and France has the best doctors.”
She huffed at that. “It will have the best doctor, once I get there. And don’t you even think of letting some fool lay hands on me.”
“I would never-”
“Mhmm.” She glared up at him for a few breaths, then finally smiled just a little, a faint flush coloring her cheeks. “I don’t know how this happened, I-”
“Oh, ye ken well how it happened, mo nighean donn,” he teased. “As I said, we’re no’ so old yet. It’ll be all right, this time. This time we’ll go through it together, aye?”
Claire was biting her lip, clearly worried, but she gave a little nod. The only two pregnancies she’d had had ended in awful, hard labors- of course, Faith’s was a labor of miscarriage, but still. She was afraid, she couldn’t deny that. But to stay here with Jamie, to go through it with him… maybe it’d be okay after all. And now he’d have the chance to be a father that he’d missed before; because there was no way in hell she was leaving him ever again.
“Yes,” she sighed at least, wrapping her arms around him and hugging him tightly. “Yes- it’ll… it’ll be alright.”
He leaned down to kiss her softly. “Come, Sassenach. Ye can ride wi’ me. I’ll soothe yer sore saddle arse.” He gave that fine round arse a gentle squeeze before leading her to his horse, pausing to grab the reins of hers, then swinging her up onto the animal’s shoulders before climbing up behind her. “Mmm. I’ve missed this,” he murmured in her ear as he slipped an arm around her waist and set off once more.
“Me too,” she breathed, settling back against him and closing her eyes. If she concentrated hard enough, she could believe it. Everything is going to be all right.
She felt like a fool. She should’ve known that the baby might come early. None of her pregnancies had been healthy or normal and none of the deliveries had been easy. So she should’ve told Jamie that they needed to stay put. Even if he was trying to avoid Jacosta’s countless attempts to make him her heir, they could have remained for a month or two, until after the baby had come.
But she’d been foolish and eager to get away, eager to get into the mountains, to find their land and to settle down with Jamie. He’d asked if she was sure- so swollen and enormous as she was. Claire had insisted, and here they were, in the middle of nowhere and her trying to ignore the contractions moving through her womb as she rode behind Jamie. He was talkative today, discussing his ideas for the future, talking about the wilderness all around them. He hadn’t noticed yet, but finally she could bear being atop a horse no more and halted the creature, breathing out through a long contraction.
“Jamie,” she panted after a moment.
He stopped immediately and turned to look back at her, alarmed by the sound of her voice. “Sassenach, ye’ve gone all red in the face. What is it?”
“It’s time. I need- agh, Christ, get me off this bloody creature!” She struggled to swing her leg over, nearly falling right off.
He swung down from his own horse and hurried back to her, reaching up to help her down. “It’s time? Time for- no’ the baby, surely? It’s too soon!”
“Well, we don’t exactly get to- ahhhn- decide when the child comes or it doesn’t and this one has decided now’s the bloody time.” She clung to him, her fingers biting into his arms as she breathed through another contraction. When Claire finally opened her eyes and looked up at her husband, she saw the panic in his eyes and loosened her hold on him some. “It’s all right. It doesn’t- doesn’t feel wrong. We’ll be all right, love.”
“We shouldna have come! We should never have left River Run! A Dhia, Claire. I’m so sorry. I dinna ken how to help. What do I do?”
She squeezed his arms again and couldn’t help letting out a laugh. “You’ve birthed how many foals, Jamie, and you say you don’t know what to do?”
“It isna the same and ye ken that fine!”
“It is the s- aghh!”
His own hold on her tightened, panic making his entire body tense against hers. Claire squeezed her eyes shut and breathed carefully through the contraction. Then she released a soft sigh and looked up at him, her gaze soft.
“Alright. We need to make camp. Build a fire, gather water and boil it. We’ve clean linens to wrap the baby in and I-” She let out a slow breath. “I need to undress. I can’t bloody breathe. Go. You go take care of the fire and the water. I’ll be fine, Jamie.”
He hesitated, torn, then finally leaned down and kissed her softly before gathering the horses in and quickly finding a clearing that would suit them for the night. Or- well, a few days, more likely. Armed with orders and a plan, Jamie got to work, setting everything up at Claire’s direction. Meanwhile, she worked out of her gown, sighing as the heavy fabrics dropped free, leaving her clad only in shift, stockings and shoes. The latter two she was quick to kick off as well before grabbing up the whole mess and waddling barefoot over to the camp Jamie had set up. The water was already boiling and he was undsaddling the horses, removing the packs from the mule. The animals seemed nervous, feeding off of his frayed nerves and Claire’s excited pacing.
Finally, she got out the medical kit Jamie had given her for their anniversary and carefully arranged all the items. She cleaned the tools and set out a knife to cut the cord with, then went back to pacing. The contractions were beginning to come closer. They were stronger, more painful. And suddenly, she felt a small flood of fluid between her legs and a need to push.
“It’s time. It’s time, it’s time, Jamie. Wash your hands,” she panted, moving over to the makeshift bed he’d made for her.
He did so well despite breaking off in his praise of her from time to time to pray in Gaelic. And all in all, the delivery was blessedly quick, though it left Claire no less exhausted by the end. Jamie caught the baby skillfully, cut the cord when she told him, then sat back on his heels, gazing in wonder at the wailing child in his arms.
“Boy or girl?” Claire asked breathlessly. “Jamie? Is the baby alright?” The child sounded fine, but Jamie hadn’t moved, and it terrified her. He still didn’t respond. “Jamie!” she hissed again, pushing herself up now to try to see the baby.
Her sharp tone pulled him out of his reverie and he blinked a few times, suddenly coming back to himself. He looked to his wife, eyes glittering with tears. “What?”
“The baby? Is it alright? What do we have?”
“O-oh! Aye! It’s a wee lad, Sassenach! He’s perfect!” He let out a laugh and a tear escaped his eyes to roll down his cheek. Jamie cleaned their son the way Claire had instructed, then wrapped him up and finally handed him over to her. “He’s beautiful, mo nighean donn. A Dhia, he’s more than I could ever have imagined.”
Claire let Jamie prop her up against a saddle and she put the baby to her breast, gazing down lovingly at him as he began to nurse. “Of course, he looks just like you,” she mused with a tired laugh. “What will we name him?”
Jamie was cleaning her up gently, tossing bloody rags into the pot to be boiled, though he paused at her question, tilting his head and studying them both. “Robert,” he whispered. “Robert Henry James Fraser.”
She smiled and nodded, looking back down to their son. “Perfect,” she sighed. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes, shifting a little as Jamie draped a blanket over her. The weather was warm, but it’d cool down as night fell. “I’ll sleep when he’s finished nursing,” she said, opening one amber eye to gaze at her husband with a smile. She knew he was desperate to hold his son again. “And then he is all yours, my darling.”
That wide mouth broke into an elated grin, and Jamie nodded, reaching up to brush her hair back off her forehead. Then he leaned down to kiss her lips, then her forehead. “Thank ye, Claire. Thank ye so much.”