*featured

anonymous asked:

I love your stories! Imagine if Jamie and Claire never had to worry about Culloden and Faith lived. what would happen in a world where the rebellion never happened?

Focusing specifically on the ‘Culloden never happened’ part…for the moment.

—–


The cabin was buried deep into the woods, the dark wood camouflaging it well. She tripped over several tree roots in her haste, tumbling to the floor and picking herself up as quickly as possible, her knees throbbing with the impact. They would be close behind her, of that she was sure.

She checked, the shuffling of the branches spooking her, but she couldn’t hear the horses and she certainly couldn’t see anything. She still had time. Checking the handle of the small residence, she pushed, hoping it was open.

It creaked, moving inwards. She gulped in a breath, her heart thumping madly in her chest as she snuck inside and pulled the door shut, the darkness enveloping her, shielding her from the Scottish forest beyond.

The men crashed through the undergrowth, laughing jovially, both in high spirits. They’d been up since the wee hours, hunting and foraging, away from the busy activities currently taking place at Lallybroch. They were enjoying their short burst of freedom.

Jamie dragged the deer carcass behind him, its limp form creating a gap in the dirt path, the leaves shifting beneath it. Ian led, his gun draped over his shoulder in a mock-soldier pose.

They both stopped short at the sight of the cabin, it’s door slightly ajar. Jamie let their dinner slide from his shoulder as he held his finger to his lips and crept forwards. Ian slunk to the floor, his wooden leg resting beneath him as he awaited his brother-in-law’s instruction.

Jamie slipped inside and waited, his eyes becoming accustomed to the darkness. As the furniture came into focus, he took an inventory. Everything seemed undisturbed, Jenny’s wee trinkets left on the side still covered in a fine dust, no fingerprints. Sheets still covered the small chair, and the table remained empty and pushed against the far wall. Nothing out of the ordinary.

“Pst, Jamie?” Ian called, his voice barely a whisper at the door. Jamie turned to see his brother-in-law’s pale face peeking through the small gap. “We’ve company.”

The redcoats were mounted, all looking incredibly sophisticated, Jamie hid his disdain well as he bowed, cordially, to the men.

The priest hole stank of rotting wood, its walls crumbling around her as she listened intently. The location of the hideaway meant that she could hear the hooves rolling through ground way before the officers made themselves known to the gentlemen above her. She couldn’t, however, hear any of their conversation.

They hadn’t discovered her –*yet*, but that didn’t mean that they wouldn’t. What if they allowed the soldiers to search the cabin? She was doomed if they did.

So she sat, the deep burr of the Scots intertwined with the high pitched British soldiers rumbling through her hideaway, nervously awaiting her fate.

Jamie didn’t know whether he’d done the right thing, there could be a vicious criminal hiding in his cabin, but then again, the redcoats had said it was a *lassie*. How dangerous could she be?

“I’d come out if I were ye!” He stamped his boots against the wooden floorboards, just above the trapdoor. “If ye dinna do it, I’ll go fetch yon lobsterbacks. I dinna think ye want that, do ye?”

Claire balked, her heart in her throat as she pulled the tatty prison blanket around her shoulders and pushed the door upwards. The bleak light hit her eyes as the two big Scots grabbed her by the arms and hauled her above ground. The tallest, a broad red-headed man, kept his hold on her as he pulled her closer to the window, using the fresh daylight to look her over.

“Ye dinna look like a criminal,” he observed, not letting go of her, “what made ye think ye could just make yerself at home here? In -my- wee cabin?”

Claire steeled herself and tugged back, her arm throbbing where his fingers dug into her flesh. Her eyes were hard as they met his, the dirt from her escape clinging to her skin. She must look a state.

Jamie, frustrated by her silence, pulled her so that they stood nose to nose, his jaw clenched in anger. “Do ye ken how fast I can have ye taken, hmm? Talk –*now*.”

Still she refused, doggedly determined in her silence.

“I ne’er thought I’d see the day when I’d wish a woman would talk.” Ian chimed in, folding his arms and stamping his wooden leg against the floor. Claire jumped at his interruption, but she refused to be moved.

“Ach, I ken how it is. Ian, grab me that rope, aye?”

Jamie and Claire didn’t once lose eye contact as Ian passed Jamie the rope. He bound her wrists and tied her to one of the supporting beams. Fear had begun to show itself on her face, all at once her eyes filled with moisture and her shoulders began to shake, but still she remained stubbornly tight lipped.

“Now ye canna go anywhere, Ian, get me Donas. I’ll go after the officers and ye can keep watch on our sassenach fugitive.”

———————————————————————–

“Wait!” She called out, delaying her cry until Jamie had reached the door, “please, wait, don’t send me back there, I beg of you!”

Jamie and Ian looked at one another before Jamie nodded at her. “First, I want yer name.”

“It’s Claire, Claire Beauchamp,” she replied after a slight pause, the fight finally going out of her, if she wanted his assistance she’d have to explain herself, “and I’m not a criminal, I’ve done nothing wrong!”

“Nothing, ye say?” Ian added, humour lacing his tone.

Claire nodded, her hands clenched tight as she tugged against the ropes that held her. Jamie shook his head; no, he wasn’t going to let her go just yet.

“So, Claire, Claire Beauchamp, if ye are indeed…innocent, what were ye doing fleeing from Tollbooth?” He quirked a brow at her and she paled. So he knew then.

“They were holding me prisoner.” She spat, her shoulders taut now as she girded herself.

Jamie took one step towards Claire, his finger pointed directly at her. “Ye’d be wise t’ watch yer smart tongue, mistress. Dinna forget, we’ve implicated ourselves by lying to the redcoats. I’ll turn ye over fast as look at ye if yer no’ careful.”

“They found me, over a year ago,” she began, “wandering around close to Inverness. I couldn’t explain myself…so they carted me to Fort William. When I refused to –cooperate, they had me condemned as a spy and transported to Tollbooth. I’ve been there ever since; until there was a coup, when I managed to liberate myself.” The information seemed to explode from her, the sentences rushed together. Jamie could hear the resentment seeping into her tone, as much as she tried to hold her anger at bay, it was impossible. All of her emotions played out on her face as she told the men her sordid tale, her cheeks pinked in passionate rage.

He eyed her up and down before settling on her face. She seemed honest enough, but neither Jamie and Ian had been raised with a good opinion of the English, and he couldn’t help the prejudice creeping in.

“So, ye just expect us to believe this –this *story*?”

“It. Isn’t. A. Story.” She spat through her teeth, Claire was seething. “You don’t have to trust me. If you want to hand me over, just do it already.” With that she turned her back on her hosts, leaning all of her weight against the wooden post. Fatigue rolled through her as she contemplated her future. She’d come so far and yet, she’d fallen short yet again, and now it was up to these two men to decide how to proceed. Her blood boiled at the thought.

“I am no’ going to hand ye over to those brutes. Do ye ken what they’ll do to ye?”

“Yes, I ken fine what they’d do to me.”  She twisted her head a little, Jamie could see the outline of her features, the soft slope of her nose and the subtle pout of her lips. He could also see the fresh tear tracks that ran down her cheeks. “What do you think they’ve been doing for the past year?”

“Yer trying to get somewhere?” He quickly changed the subject, the topic making him incredibly uncomfortable. He kent how the English dished out justice, he’d witnessed it first hand and didn’t wish to be privy to it again.

“Yes.” She sighed, her shoulders slumping further as she finally began to let her guard down. “I just need to get to Craigh na Dun, but I can’t seem to get myself back there. I promise, if you take me there, you’ll never have to see me again.”

She remained trussed up for the rest of the day. Jamie had decided to throw caution to the wind, he wasn’t sure why, but he was willing. He agreed to escort her to the fairy hill, but they would need to wait until the soldiers were well away. That meant Claire staying in the cottage; but, even with the basic level of trust they’d so shakily established, he didn’t wish to set her free.

He had moved her to the bed though, so that she could get some much needed rest. She’d fallen asleep almost the exact moment her head had hit the pillow. Only then did Ian allow himself to release the breath he’d been holding. He’d managed to stay mostly quiet through the whole negotiation, but now he was finally channeling his inner Jenny Murray.

“Christ, Jamie. Have ye lost yer mind? She’s convincing, I’ll gi’ her that! But ye dinna believe her, do ye?”

Jamie recognised the tone and rolled his eyes. “What did ye expect me to do? Did ye no’ see it in her face, Ian? I agree, her tale is really something, but I dinna think it’s in her nature to lie, either.”

Ian sighed and rested his hands on his hips, he kent how good a judge of character Jamie was, he’d just have to put his faith in his brother-in-law. He hoped Jenny didn’t discover what they’d been up to, or there would certainly be hell to pay.

“Ye dinna have to come wi’ us, Ian. Ye can go home.” Jamie appeased, knowing how vitriolic his sister could be if they did something she didn’t approve of, and this was something she definitely wouldn’t.

“Aye, I think that’s best. I’ll keep everyone from asking any questions, ye ken Jenny would be after us if one of us doesna turn up soon.” Ian clapped Jamie on the shoulder and closed the door softly behind him as he left.

“Godspeed, Jamie lad.” Ian whispered into the dense forest as he trudged homeward.

The ride towards Inverness was quiet. Claire kept herself to herself, huddled close to her rescuer as they rode together. She kept her expectations low, she’d been lost to the eighteenth century for so long now she’d half forgotten her fateful journey through the stones just over a year ago. Now, when it seemed she was actually about to get home, she didn’t want to have her hopes dashed at the last hurdle. *Hot baths and gas stoves*, she chanted to herself, as they rode ever onwards.

As they neared the hill, Jamie felt Claire tense. He didn’t want to admit it, but their long and winding ride together had been more comfortable and enjoyable, even in their silence, than he would have thought. She just seemed to fit him. Tossing the thought aside as soon as it had made purchase in his head, he dismounted and helped Claire to the floor.

“Wait here, I’ll hobble the horse somewhere naybody can see him and I’ll be back.”

She did as she was told, not wanting to shake his confidence in her. When he returned, he took her by the hand and lead her upwards, closer and closer to the buzzing. She clenched his palm, the noise distracting her, pummelling her eardrums the closer they got. In the mele, she found herself pulling backwards, the hum too much for her. Jamie kept her grounded, though. Leading her closer and closer.

Just shy of the stone circle, she stopped. He feet firmly planted on the ground. Jamie yanked, all to no avail, and then turned to face her.

“I just need to say,” she began, her voice shaky, “thank you, and good luck –with your deer.” She scrunched her brow, unsure as to where that had come from, but unable to say what was really ricocheting around her head; *thank you for taking such good care of me*. The sentence hovered around her, but couldn’t find purchase vocally. He nodded, as if he’d completely understood her.

With that she turned and fled. *It’s now or never*, she thought as she hurled herself into the swirling abyss.

Jamie stood, awestruck as he watched her bolt and simply –*disappear*. His jaw fell open, as if he meant to call out to her, but no words came.

———————————————————————–

The ground felt damp against her back as she blinked at the sunlight. Her heart felt heavy, and she couldn’t place why, but something felt –*off*. She glanced to the left, the concrete road glinting in the dawn. The Twentieth Century then, good; but was it? She couldn’t say just yet.

The first name that popped into her head was that of Reverend Wakefield, surely he was still at the manse. He should have been her first port of call. But he wasn’t. In the haze of her trip through time, she hadn’t quite managed to find the strength to shake off her erstwhile saviour, and something told her she wasn’t quite ready to hit the modern world just yet.

This cloud clung to her like glue as she stumbled along the single track road, away from Inverness.

Jamie’s ride back to Lallybroch was somewhat maudlin. He felt as if his legs were held in irons, his chest felt as if it were being crushed. Shaking off the feeling as best he could he rode onwards, eager to be home once more.

As the big house came into view he glanced to the left, into the woods, towards the little hunting cottage. He sighed. At least she was safe, wherever she was, *whoever* she was.

Out of dumb luck she managed to find herself lodgings. For a lone woman in the 40’s, that *should* have been quite a task. The Inn, buried deep in the Beauly countryside, allowed her to earn her keep; cleaning, gardening, and whatever other little tasks cropped up. Claire found herself enjoying the peace.

One sunny afternoon, only a few months into her stay, she took herself off on a walk. Everything looked different, but something felt very familiar. When she’d found her way here, she’d simply followed her gut; at no point since had she questioned it.

Pushing through the thickly overgrown bush, she stumbled upon a surprise. There, right in front of her, was a half crumbling wreck, but the slant of the windows triggered a memory. His face came unbidden to her mind; his almost ethereal blue eyes; the slick curl of his fiery red hair; the heat of his palm against hers; the man who’d taken her at her word and not sent her back to prison, but returned her home.

How she made it back to her lodgings, she’d never know, but something told her it would take a hell of a lot longer to shake the spectre of the man who’d saved her than she’d originally thought, longer, in fact, than she’d actually known him.

In the weeks that followed, Jamie took to spending his weekends at the cabin, his thoughts twisting and turning, always settling on one, Claire Beauchamp. Her clear whisky eyes haunted his dreams, the ghost of her forever haunting him.

He’d complete his duties at home, pack up a small roll filled with food and silently creep away, much to the displeasure of his family.

Claire took to spending her weekends lost in the woods. She’d almost no knowledge of construction or architecture, but she was determined, and that had to count for something. It took her some time, but eventually she peeled away the decaying wood of the damaged walls, replaced it with fresh logs and varnished it all. It was finally beginning to look like the cottage she’d hidden in.

After many weekends filled with manual labour, she only had a few panels on the roof to fix. Her hands were deep brown, covered in scars and scabs, hardened with the work. Her shoulders were freckled and tanned, her arms had gained some definition and her soul had been lightened. For the first time in a while she thought of *him*, she hoped he would be gratified by the newly refurbished cabin. She hoped he would be proud.

As the air turned cold, Jamie found himself too busy with the daily workings of Broch Tuarach to continue his trips alone. Winter was coming and they all needed to be prepared for a harsh one.

As he filled the stores with supplies, his thoughts shifted once more to Claire; her bright whisky eyes; the tight curls that bounced around her ears; the tight grip she kept on his hand as he led her up that damnable hill. Faerie or no, she’d ingrained herself into his very marrow and he couldn’t shake her.

Winter came, and with it a deep snow. Claire was grateful to have finished her wee project before it’d gotten too bad, weather wise, to continue. But her separation from it lay heavy on her heart. She sank into a depression, her mind clogged with sorrow.

She dreamt, the dark clouds of her past closing in on her. She had a husband, Frank, a man she’d not been in contact with since arriving back in her proper time. Why? She couldn’t even answer that. She should have immediately tried to find him, but she hadn’t.

As the snow thickened, the work at the inn dried up. Mrs Lewis, the elderly owner was kind as always, but she could hardly keep herself fed now, let alone poor Claire. As soon as the thaw came, she left. Her few belongings stuffed into an old moth eaten rucksack.

She should have taken this as a sign to go back to Inverness; back to Reverend Wakefield; back to Frank.

But she didn’t.

She couldn’t.

No, she decided, that life wasn’t hers anymore. Her year in the Tollbooth reappeared, the bleak bars, the gray slip of fabric they’d forced her into as they’d bound her, whipped her, thrown cold water over her. Anything to get her to admit her allegiance to the Scottish rebel’s they’d been hunting.

She shouldn’t have even been thinking about the stone circle and the horrors that had held her captive. Surely she’d still be a wanted woman, the army weren’t easy placated. But something more precious awaited her, something that she thought might be worth the fight.

———————————————————————–

It was a long hard slog across the highlands, most places were still semi-isolated after the incredibly long December, but as she crept ever closer to the outskirts of Inverness, so the land began to level and the going became less unpredictable. She had weathered the storm, sleeping mostly in tired, old hotels. Places that probably hadn’t seen company in months.

The fire had lit within Claire once more and even the bad weather wasn’t going to stop her.

Something struck him one night, a flash of white and a blaze of deep brown. The urge to leave filled him. Claire. He *felt* her, he could have sworn it.

He dressed in a rush, grabbing his broadsword as an afterthought. It was big and heavy, but he wanted to be prepared for anything. He had no time to waste, and slipped from the house without leaving a note as to his whereabouts.

He rode Donas hard, the large black stallion braying and pounding the sodden earth hard as he galloped onwards, towards Craigh na Dun.

The sun was just rising as he came upon the stone circle. All seemed quiet, the birds chirped merrily away to themselves, the trees rustling with the newly awakened squirrells. Nothing was amiss. Jamie’s heart slowed, maybe he’d been mistaken. Maybe it was simply a dream.

He kicked the loose earth, his jaw clenching. How silly he had been, of course she wouldn’t be there. Turning back he plodded towards where he’d tied Donas, ready for the long journey home.

“You never told me your name.” The voice hit him, hard. The soft feminine intonation causing his skin to prickle. He stopped dead in his tracks, his palms sweating.

Slowly, he turned back to the hill, his heart beating solidly, alight with hope.

She stood firm, the dawn sun at her back, the glow surrounding her. She looked like an angel, and he couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face as he answered her.

“It’s Fraser, James Alexander *Malcolm* Mackenzie, Fraser.”

FIN.

2

Hey guys! ヾ(^∇^)

So I decided to post these things here becasuse I love them AWW YISSS (ノ ´ ∀ ` )ノ

I seriously love playing around with Mari’s hair, like just 17% of the time I draw her actual hairstyle lmao ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Look at my precious children ー( ´ ▽ ` )ノ Those hopeless teenagers are my life and actually I’ve been drawing them A LOT lately, don’t know why  ≧(´▽`)≦

Anyways, I wanted to share my adorable kitten and Ladybuns (heh..) because why not? °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖° Hope you like this!