We know Murtagh dies at Culloden ,I can’t recall Jamie talking much
about him after although he must have missed his god father terribly
.Could we have a story about Jamie and Claire talking about Murtagh and
how much they miss him in their life .
They stood at the edge of the field, neither wishing to be the first to set foot on it.
“Have ye been here… then?” Jamie asked quietly, as though his voice would disturb someone but there were no living creatures to be seen in the short scrubby grass that unevenly covered the terrain.
“I went once before I ever came here,” Claire responded. “Before I knew anyone who…” but she couldn’t finish her thought.
Their horses stamped impatiently from where Jamie had hobbled them. They were on their way to Lallybroch, having fulfilled their duties escorting the body of one Simon Fraser home to Scotland. Neither had thought much about how close their journey would take them to Culloden Moor until they were practically upon it. Had they been on their own instead of together, neither would have had the strength to face it.
“Is it as desolate in yer time then, Sassenach?”
“In my experience, battlefields––no matter how far removed from the fight itself––are never cheerful places again,” she told him. “There will be cairns and markers. I don’t remember quite where, but for each of the clans… probably where their men were buried.”
Jamie looked around. It was sunnier than it had been the last time but he could still see the echoes of men on either side right down to the desperation and willingness to die on some of their faces; he hadn’t seen it but he knew he’d worn the same expression that day. He took a halting step forward and then another.
“We came down this way,” he said flatly.
Claire followed slowly behind him, willing herself to see what he saw but also shying away from it.
“Then, I moved… this direction––had to… there was such a press of men…” He wandered a little towards the right and down into a slightly lower pocket of growth, not large enough to be a true gully but it had offered a little protection from the canonfire, the angle too much for them to handle.
There were still large gaps in Jamie’s memory of that day. He didn’t recall seeing Black Jack Randall except after the man was dead and lying on top of him. He didn’t recall the face of the man who had slashed his leg and nearly killed him––for all he knew it might have been Randall to do it. He didn’t recall who it was that had struck the blow that eventually killed Murtagh.
But he knew the spot where it had happened as soon as he set foot on it. A chill went up his spine and then he felt a solid hand rest reassuringly on his shoulder. Looking up, he saw Claire watching him from several feet away.
He spoke quietly and used the Gáidhlig so that Claire wouldn’t hear him.
“There are so many things I wish ye could have lived to see, though I dinna ken that ye’d have been patient enough to wait for them all… I nearly wasn’t,” he murmured with a smile. “She looks like my mam… my Brianna does. Takes after her in other ways too. And her wee Jem… Though he puts me in mind of Willie, I ken ye’d have more stories of how he’s a devil like I was at his age.” Jamie’s smile faded and he swallowed hard. “I think their lass, Mandy will favor Claire and heaven help them if she takes after her grannie in finding trouble. And there’s my lad… William––though… callin’ him ‘mine’ still doesna feel quite right… Ye’d have a thing or two to say on the matter, I’m sure. Ye’d have plenty to say on all of them…
“I hope ye ken how I’ve tried to keep ye wi’ me, always…” Jamie’s voice grew thick, the words harder to say. “I was in such pain losin’ Claire… but losin’ you too made it harder. Not havin’ ye there to talk to… I did try to think what yer advice to me would ha’ been… though I’m sure I got it wrong from time to time… I hope I’ve done ye proud, though, and I want ye to know… I ken I’m a better man for having had ye at my side for as long as I did and I’d be better still if ye’d been there longer. Thank ye, for all ye did for me and mine. I’ll no let ye be forgotten.”
The feeling of weight left his shoulder and something within Jamie felt lighter.
Claire watched Jamie with his head bent and his hands cradled in front of him, his lips whispering a quick prayer.
They didn’t speak of Murtagh often the same way they didn’t speak of Faith often. The pain of such loss was simply a part of them the way the scars on Jamie’s back were a part of him or Claire’s curls were a part of her.
“I’m sorry I didn’t say a proper goodbye,” she whispered to the low breeze, hoping it would carry her words wherever they needed to go. “I sometimes wonder what things might’ve been like if we hadn’t gone to Paris; if we hadn’t gotten involved in affairs the way we did. I don’t know that what we did was entirely fair to you.” Tears pricked unexpectedly at her eyes and she reached up to wipe them away. “You deserved more––you deserved better than to end up here on that day… If I’d been here I might’ve been able to do something… If I’d never come at all maybe neither of you would have been here that day… But I don’t regret any of it and I’m sure you understand––you loved him too… Thank you for keeping him safe, for protecting him and watching over him when I wasn’t there. I wish I could have done more for you, that you could have seen Bree and the children… Or maybe you can… They wouldn’t exist if not for you.”
She blinked back the remaining tears in her eyes. Jamie had made his way back over to Claire and slipped his hand into hers. It was still a slightly awkward fit without that third finger but they held tightly to each other all the same.
With a solemn nod, they redirected their steps toward the horses. They had seen enough of Culloden Moor.