Only one part left after this and then the Epilogue (and possibly other little snippets as the muse and prompts strike). - Mod Lenny
“I know where we are,” Frank exclaimed suddenly, sitting up straighter behind Claire on the horse.
She looked around, her pulse quickening with fear. They should still be at least a few hours away from the stones; it was too soon.
Then she too recognized the rock formation in the distance.
“Cocknammon Rock,” she said with a smile.
“You remember then?” There was something hopeful in Frank’s voice but Claire was distracted.
“Of course I do. You told me about the British patrols and when we passed this way on our journey to Leoch I warned Jamie about it,” she explained. “He alerted the others and then dumped me off the horse so I’d be safe out of the way while he and the others surprised the soldiers. I tried to get away back to the stones but he found me again before I got very far.”
She remembered how he’d slipped easily down from his horse and crossed to block her way, still covered in blood and dirt from the skirmish and making no hint as to the injuries he’d suffered. She smiled again. The idiot might’ve died if she hadn’t been there when it was his turn to fall off the horse.
“I see,” Frank said from behind her, his tone drastically different from the moment before.
Claire found herself annoyed with him but held her tongue. Like Murtagh had said that evening by the fire, she couldn’t help how she felt. And Frank certainly wasn’t making things easier.
If Murtagh heard the exchange he didn’t say anything about it, only let them know, “It’ll no be much longer. We can either stop for another night so ye dinna arrive where ye’re goin’ in the dark or ye can go through just afore sundown.”
“Tonight,” Frank said quickly. “The sooner we get home, the better.”
“Will it really be better to walk all the way to Inverness in the dark when we’ve been riding all day?” Claire challenged. “Or perhaps we’ll just be struck by a passing motorist. I think we should take advantage of having someone here to help keep watch while we get some rest.”
“What exactly is it that you’re waiting for?” Frank asked under his breath. “Do you think he’ll come after you? He knows his place in this, that you’re married to me, that you’re my wife. He knows you’ll be better off with me.”
“And what makes you so sure about what Jamie thinks?” Claire countered.
“He told me as much himself.”
That caused Claire’s breathing to catch and her chest to seize painfully.
“You two talked about me?” There was an accusation in her voice but regarding what, she wasn’t sure.
“It isn’t as though we have much else in common.” Frank’s tone hadn’t completely softened but it wasn’t as openly antagonistic either. “You did say he was your friend. He wants what’s best for you and that’s for you to come home.”
Claire could completely believe that Jamie had said those things to Frank; he had said similar thing to her. But hearing Frank say them… it changed them, somehow. It made her want to argue, to point out all the reasons she had to stay… but really, there weren’t many reasons for her to stay… just Jamie.
They passed back into silence as they rode the rest of the way finally spotting the hill in the distance as the sun set behind it. She recalled hiding with Frank near the summit of that hill and glimpsing the sun through the crack in the stone as it rose while the local druids danced. She saw the sun again through that crack but with the world turned around and the sun peeking through on its descent, shrouding the world in shadows rather than bathing it in light.
“I’m too tired to face going through that tonight, Frank,” Claire pleaded. “I’m hungry and I want to sleep.”
He sighed while Murtagh pointedly stayed out of the conversation.
“Very well. You’re right; we don’t know how long we’ll have to walk before a car stops and it’ll be safer if they can see us properly when they do,” Frank conceded.
“There’s a wee cottage near here,” Murtagh remarked now that a decision had been made. “It was abandoned last I knew. Might be a sight more comfortable than sleeping in the open.” He looked to Claire who nodded then he turned his horse to one side and led the way.
They set up their final camp in silence and quickly turned in for the night.
Claire lay next to Frank but her mind sought Jamie and refused to quiet. Was she really contemplating staying? How could she even think of doing something like that to Frank? All of it was insane. To think of everything she would have to give up in order to stay––the friends she’d made during the war, the conveniences of modernity, the rights and privileges she had taken for granted…
And what would she get in return? Jamie was an outlaw and since breaking Frank out of Fort William, she almost certainly was too. On top of that she was a woman and English and, as Jamie had told her once, that wasn’t a pretty thing to be in the Highlands of Scotland.
But she would have Jamie. He knew the truth now, about who and what she was; he knew the truth and believed her. She could be herself with him, talk about what life was like in the twentieth century; she could tell him about what lay…
Her heart began to pound and fear gripped her.
Culloden. The Jacobite Rising was just two years away. Would she be able to live with herself if she left Jamie behind knowing how likely it was that he would end up on that disastrous battlefield? If she returned to the future and failed to find out what happened to Jamie––or worse, that he had died in battle…
Murtagh. Whatever she ultimately decided to do with herself, she would be sure to warn Murtagh. If anyone had a hope of keeping Jamie from getting involved in the Rising, it was his godfather.
But she wanted to be sure. And the only way to do that was to stay. So why was she so scared to make up her mind?
She didn’t know how Jamie felt about her. She had her suspicions––she knew he liked her well enough––but he hadn’t ever said anything to her that would suggest…
Despite yearning for rest, Claire got no sleep that night, rising with the sun and staring at the hilltop where her fate would be decided once and for all.
“Are ye ready to go back then?” Murtagh’s quiet voice came up behind her.
She peered through the door to where Frank was only beginning to stir on the floor.
“If anything I’m more confused about what I ought to do than I was yesterday or the day before that or the day before that,” Claire lamented.
“Ye’ll do what ye must when the time comes,” Murtagh assured her. “And then ye’ll pray for the health and happiness of the one ye leave wi’out ye. Cannae do more’n that.”
“There is something I would tell you before we go,” Claire began solemnly. “It’s about… it’s about something that’s going to happen.”
Murtagh’s brow furrowed suspiciously.
“You know that there are always rumors of King James returning and taking back his throne?”
“D’ye mean to say he will?”
There was surprise and hope in the man’s face and Claire’s heart sank as she shook her head.
“His son, Prince Charles, will try in two years’ time… but it will end in disaster. You have to promise me that you’ll keep Jamie from getting involved in it; keep him away from Culloden.”
Confusion returned to Murtagh’s expression.
“When ye say,’disaster,’ ye mean the battle’s lost.”
“It’s more than just that though. The Highlanders will be severely punished in their defeat,” Claire explained as best she could.
“The Clans will end as you know them,” Frank chimed in from the doorway, his fingers tucking the ragged ends of his bandages in where they’d come loose in sleep. “Your language, your tartans––both will be outlawed. There will be raids throughout the highlands by the military––made worse by famine.”
Claire let Frank continue filling in the details that she recalled so little about, absorbing them anew herself. He couldn’t have been more precise if he’d prepared a proper lecture with notes. And Murtagh stood there listening and nodding, his mind already sorting and storing what he would need to know most, discarding the details that he could afford to forget.
Would telling a single Scotsman be enough to change the course of history? Probably not. But it might be enough to save Jamie––to save some of those at Leoch, perhaps, as well.
“Thank ye,” Murtagh said when Frank was through. He extended his hand for Frank but then flushed as he saw Frank glance at his bandages again and hesitate before shaking Murtagh’s hand gingerly.
“I don’t know what use you’ll be able to put it to,” Frank admitted. “But it seems a fair exchange for the services you’ve rendered Claire and I.”
“Fair exchange,” Murtagh murmured with a nod then turned to Claire. “Ye ken where ye’re goin’ from here, I take it.”
“Yes, thank you.” She stepped forward and surprised Murtagh with a hug. “Please, keep him safe,” she whispered.
Murtagh didn’t acknowledge what she’d said, just nodded farewell to her as she and Frank began the climb up the hill.
“Has it really only been two weeks?” Frank muttered, picking his way up carefully.
“For you it has,” Claire reminded him.
“Well, I am ready for the nightmare to be over,” he said with confidence, taking Claire’s hand loosely in his and guiding her to the stone.
She stopped when they were still a few feet away, her hand slipping from his easily.
“You don’t need to be scared,” he reassured her. “I remember how terrible it was but we just have to do this and it will all be over, once and for all.”
She was shaking her head slowly, tears in her eyes.
He took her hand again and squeezed it as hard as he was able. It was enough for her gold ring to dig uncomfortably into her finger.
“Claire… Just… look at me, all right. Keep your eyes on me. We’ll do this together.”
His eyes were brown; he had dirt on his cheek from where he’d slept with it pressed to the dirt floor of the cabin; he needed a haircut and a shave; there was a sheen of sweat on his face and redness in his eyes; his lips were chapped and he looked desperate and afraid.
She raised her free hand the way he had his other hand raised, reaching for the stone.
“On three,” he instructed. “One… two… th––”
“I’m sorry,” Claire said quickly as Frank’s hand went forward. She pulled her hand from his as he held tight and struggled to pull her forward with him.
And then she fell.
She was on the ground, her head spinning… and Frank was gone.
“The picture stays Janet! Ye won’t change one fucking thing on that
“I dinna care a whit about the picture, Brother, although I canna
for the life o’ me figure out what in hell it is. But no one names a wine, Jamie!”
Willie, Laoghaire, Rupert, Murtagh, Dougal, and Ian sat still as
stones around the conference table.
Laoghaire didn’t know whether to take notes on this part of the meeting
or not. She leaned over to Rupert and
whispered her question.
“Nay, lass,” he told her.
“Dinna take notes when they use the f-word.”
She’d never seen the Fraser siblings this angry with each other. She’d never seen Jamie like this before. His eyes were dead, and he was definitely thinner. He seemed constantly on edge. Even a ‘good morning’ seemed to piss him
Dougal piped up. “I ken
exactly what it is, and it’s bloody clever, Jamie.” He turned the wine towards the others and
used his index finger to point out the undulating lines, “Look at it one way,
and it’s the Scottish mountains in the distance wi’ what seems like a burn right
here. But, here’s the clever bit.” Dougal grinned at his audience. “If ye look right here, it’s the curve of a
woman lying on her side. And the burn
becomes a tendril of her curly, dark hair.”
Laoghaire gasped. Willie
grinned. Rupert laughed. Jenny screamed. Murtagh scowled. And Ian sat straight up and twisted in his
chair to stare at Jamie.
“Sassenach.” Ian said. “You named the Merlot ‘Sassenach’.”
“No. Absolutely not.” Jenny was livid. “Ye call it Merlot. Ye don’t name them with names, for God’s
sake. And look at the Shiraz? It’s called Mo Neighean Donn! Who is going to know what that even means,
Jamie? Honestly, the Fraser name will be
a laughing stock.”
Jamie had had enough. He
slammed his hands down on the conference table and hauled himself to his feet,
leaning across the table into Jenny’s face.
“I’m the CEO of this company, and I don’t have to discuss the running of
it wi’ my sister!” he roared.
Jenny rose up now, too.
“Oh,” she said, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Beggin’ yer pardon, Laird –“
“Dinna say it, Janet,” Jamie growled.
“-Broch Tuarach!” she finished
“Ifrinn, Jenny!” Jamie
pounded the table again. “Dinna throw
that ancient title at me!”
Laoghaire looked at Rupert, pen poised. “How do I spell that?”
Rupert shook his head, “Nay, Lass.
‘Tis Jenny mockin’ her brother.
Just….just put yer pen down, aye?”
St. Michael, Jamie thought. His head
hurt. He hadn’t slept in days. And his heart ached. Physically ached inside his chest. At times he couldn’t catch his breath when
the grief rose up to meet him. The
labels and the names had come to him during those four days with Claire. She was his muse, his inspiration. Each label was drawn by hand and sent to the
printer. He hadn’t shown anyone. He knew they were beautiful. Just like Claire, they were unique. Some of his best work. And he knew you didn’t name wines. Naming them brought her closer. Laughing
stock.That’s fine, he thought. For I am truly a fool.
Dougal stood up and placed a hand each on his niece and
nephew. “Come on now, you two. Sit down.
It’s no’ as bad as all that. In
fact, I can tell ye right now where I’m going to sell this wine.”
Jamie sat heavily and rubbed at his temples. Jenny huffed, crossed her arms and legs and
flopped back in her chair.
Dougal continued. “Wi’ names like these, I’m going to all of the
resorts in the Highlands first. Places
that cater to weddings and such. Can ye
imagine a bride and her groom planning a wedding? Havin’ a tasting paired with a white wine
titled “Mo graidh”? Huh?” He looked around the table and rubbed his
hands together. “A wine called “My
Love”! Mary, Michael and Bride, it’ll
practically sell itself!”
Everyone looked around the table that was rife with tension. Jenny spoke first, skepticism evident in her
voice. “If ye think so, Uncle. No’ that it matters. The deed is done.”
Jenny looked at Jamie, “For the record, I dinna like it. Not one bit.
But, if Dougal says it’ll sell, I believe him.” She stood up, and turned to leave, mumbling,
“That man could sell potatoes to the Irish.”
Jenny’s exit broke the mood. The
rest followed suit, but no one dared say a word to Jamie.
Dougal clapped his nephew on the back, and leaned down close to
his ear. “It’s brilliant, Jamie. Pay no mind to Jenny. I see what you did. Subliminal.
Genius.” And with that, Jamie
found himself alone.
Back in his office he looked again at the wines lined up on his
desk. The labels were beautiful. And he hated each and every one of them right
now. Hated the memories they dredged
up. Hated the loneliness they made him
Jamie looked at his calendar.
Twelve days. Twelve days until
Christmas. He never felt less festive in
his life. He always went to Lallybroch
for Christmas. Lallybroch was their
family estate, and the home of Jenny and Ian and their children. Mrs. Crook was still their housekeeper. Jamie couldn’t remember a time when she
wasn’t part of their family. He always
looked forward to Christmas there. Cutting the
tree from the woods around the estate and dragging it back. Playing with his nephew and nieces. Maybe he’d stay in town this year. Right.Despite
her anger, Jenny, nor Ian for that matter, would let him do that. Well, he had twelve days to find some
Jamie sat bolt upright in his chair. Twelve days.
For the first time in weeks he felt like smiling. Twelve days!
He scrolled through his contacts and made two calls. Then he called down to the art department and
told them what he needed and to have it ready in ten minutes. Closing his computer, he packed it up in his
bag, told Willie he was heading home for the day and headed down two flights. Jamie,
lad, Dougal said ye were a genius.Now
ye need to prove it. Prove ye can fix
this massive misunderstanding with a wee subliminal message.
Claire arrived home from her shift around 8:30 p.m. She’d done two day shifts for Mary, and was
now off for the next two days. She
planned to do laundry, sleep, and clean.
In that order.
Claire unlocked her door, dropped her bag and stopped. Normally the room was pitch black. She’d taken to drawing the blinds on her
window because the sight of the fire escape made her heart hurt. But the blinds were open. And the glow from the street lamps made eerie
shadows in her lounge. She flicked on a
light and gasped.
Spotless. Her flat was
spotless. Her kitchen was free of the
dishes she’d left there this morning. And
she could faintly smell the solution that was used to wash her floor. But what really rendered her speechless was
the huge Christmas tree in the corner by the window. The smell of pine was heavy in the room aided
along by the natural garland that lay over her mantle. Jamie. He must have found the key she’d misplaced in his flat. She hadn’t the heart to return the one he gave her. It could
only be him. Oh, Jamie. There was also a
huge floral arrangement on her kitchen island.
Flowers in reds and golds and white, dripping with cedar greens. She couldn’t help the tears that sprang to
her eyes, spilled over onto her cheeks, and dripped from her chin. She closed her eyes, buried her nose in the
bouquet, and wept.
She pulled herself together enough to grab a shower, and
padding back into her kitchen in flannel pajamas, she opened the fridge to make
something to eat. The tears rose
again. She should have guessed. He’d stocked the fridge with ready to go
meals from one of those gourmet delivery places.
Jamie? Why now?
She sifted through the labels and found a pasta option to heat
up. As it cooked she thought about what
it all might mean. Was this his way of saying sorry? That was all well and good, but to be honest
she would rather he actually say the words to her.
was trying to say he understood? But
understood what, exactly? That she would
need this type of support while she went back to school? That he could make things easy for her? He can
throw all his money into cleaning services and pre-cooked meals. That’s not the support I need. Or
want. It was all so confusing.
As she sat at the counter eating, she spied something else. A small white box was under the tree. Damn
you, James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser.
Damn you for surprising me AGAIN!
She got up and brought the white box back to her seat. It was clearly a pastry box, tied with brown
string. But the artwork on top was breathtaking. An origami partridge. She carefully lifted it off the top of the
box. It was about the size of her hand,
and folded in such a way that it stood on its own two feet. The markings were clearly drawn in ink. Jamie. His name reverberated through her. Setting aside the paper bird, she opened the
box and smiled. A danish pastry. Not just any danish, but a pear danish. A
partridge in pear tree. And Claire
laughed for the first time in weeks.
With only laundry and sleep to focus on, Claire woke up the next
morning in better spirits than she had in a while. Maybe she would get some shopping done for her friends.
Heading out after lunch she opened the door
and froze. There on the threshold was
another white box, but also dangling in front of her face were two origami
doves. One looked to be landing on an
invisible branch, and the other seemed to already be perched. Their wings were cut to show the finest of
feathers. The workmanship was so exquisite
it was almost surgical in its precision.
Jamie, love, these must have taken
hours. Claire grabbed a chair to
remove the tape that hung them from her door frame. Carefully she carried them inside and stood
still, thinking of where to keep them.
When it came to her, she didn’t hesitate. She hung the turtle doves and went back to
the door to retrieve the second package.
Another pastry box, but this time it was a gorgeous pear tart, and
another beautifully crafted partridge. She
placed the partridge on a branch of her Christmas tree along with the first
one, and before she could change her mind, or dwell on what was happening, she
headed out to the shops.
Later that night, Claire lay in bed looking up at the two doves
hanging from her ceiling. For the
first time in days, she dared to hope.
Just a wee show-verse drabble (using the term loosely–100 words isn’t ever enough for me!) that I’ve been imagining since I saw the titles of the S2 deleted scenes several weeks ago and noticed
“Tell her I love her”
as the final one on the list. I’ve since learned it was NOT in fact having anything to do with the scenario I envisioned…but all the better, because now I get to write it!
Check out @londonerbecky‘s take on the same line if it were delivered by Murtagh, and one eventually from @suhailauniverse who imagined it being spoken by Jamie. Love that we all three came up with different ideas!
He took me in his arms like—Jesus, God—like we were in the grand ballroom at Versailles. Dancing.
“I love you,” I choked. My eyes darted frantically across his face, trying to capture his image, to burn him irrevocably into me, even as he was about to tear himself away, to fling me and our child into the void. “I love you.”
He could barely speak. “And I—you—”
Each step backward toward the stone was a death knell, my mind screaming, wailing.
Jamie is going to die today.
Your Jamie will die today.
Jamie will be dead and—
“Jamie, tell—” I broke off.
I couldn’t say it.
“Aye, mo chridhe?
I had to say it.
“Tell her—I love her.”
He stared at me for a long moment….
…and then he understood.
“I’ll take good care of her, Claire.”
I threw myself forward and he held me just as tight, so hard that I thought I would break apart, as if I weren’t already on the verge of breaking.
But there was the tiniest spark within me now.
Jamie would die today…
…but they would have each other. Jamie and Faith.
He pulled back and gently lifted my chin. He was crying, hard, and his voice shook…but I was given one more sight of Jamie Fraser’s smile, after all.
What are some of your favourite non-romantic Outlander relationships? and why?
Ooh! I had to think about this one for a bit…
In no particular order:
Murtagh & Jamie - Truer love and devotion and selflessness has not been seen throughout the Books.
Murtagh & Claire - He becomes the father she never had. She proves herself to be a woman worthy of any sacrifice - not only because she’s Jamie’s wife, but for her own sake.
Jamie & Brianna - Literally every moment they spend together is a blessing, because it is a moment that neither Jamie nor Brianna ever expected to have.
Jem & Germaine - Thick as thieves, cousins and best friends. Innocents at a time of so much turmoil.
Ian & Rollo - They guarded each other, provided solace to each other, and always made sure the other was safe.
Jamie & Roger - Two words: character development
Ian & Brianna - Especially in the later Books. For they have both lost so much - for they both love deeply. And there are certain things that they can only discuss with each other - not even their respective spouses.
Adso & Major MacDonald’s wig - Because Adso is a total boss, and he knows it.
Thank you all again for giving such support of my stories over the last year. In honor of my blog’s first anniversary, here is a look into one of my modern Jamie and Claire’s.
This is a little angsty (bc it’s LS, it’s always angsty) just as a warning, but it’s all right! I look forward to writing more about these two, so send me prompts for them! I’m not telling the story in a linear fashion anymore, so anything you want to see :)
Jamie’s heart thudded as he ran past the cars and
pedestrians on the street that were blocking his way to where he needed to be.
The roads were wet and reflected the busy streets of Edinburgh. The fresh
smell of rain was strong in the air as he turned the corner to the little
antique shop he was heading to.
He and Claire had wandered in a few weeks ago in search for
a birthday present for Murtagh. They had been looking for something from one of
Scotland’s risings as Murtagh had a deep passion for learning all about his
predecessors’ fight. They both had wanted to do something nice for the man who
had done so much for them.
When they first moved to Edinburgh, the flat they
had rented ended up being invested with mold and was deemed unlivable. Murtagh had
given them a place to say while they got settled and had been such a reassuring
presence in their lives together. But Jamie hadn’t been surprised, Murtagh would always be there.
While they held hands, browsing through the old furniture
and trinkets, Claire’s eyes drooping as she had just finished her first
graveyard shift at her residency, one item had caught his eye.
A beautiful, silver hairbrush, craved with thistles all on the back. The
attention to detail was what made Jamie notice it. It looked like something a
princess would have used. Jamie immediately saw Claire in it. It stood out from the crowd, unique and proud. And it would
match her ring.
Before they had left, Jamie asked the salesman to put it
away for him to pick up later. It would make the perfect anniversary present,
which is why Jamie was running through the streets to make it in time before
It was their third anniversary tonight and he needed to get
the brush and pick up their dinner before she got home. He hoped she had a
good day at the hospital, her assigned doctor could be incredibly rude and
brash with Claire and it always put her in a bad mood.
Jamie burst into the store to met the owner’s disapproving
gaze at his lateness, but promptly paid for the silver brush and was on his
When he got home to their flat, he ran his fingers over the
shiny brush, feeling all the marks from the engravings. He smiled when he
thought about Claire using it tonight as she readied for bed. A small pang came over him when he realized what the brush also reminded him of, but he pushed it aside.
A few hours later, when the brush was wrapped with a red
bow, the table set for two, candles lit and the Italian he ordered for them
set out, everything was finally ready for Claire’s return.
Jamie anxiously tapped his fingers on the table until he
heard footsteps in the hall and then the key jiggle into the lock.
He jumped up to greet her at the door just as it opened.
The first thing he noticed was the tear streaks and the
puffiness of her eyes. Oh no, a bad day then.
Using a mirror, Bree paints a picture of her and William together and they give it to Jamie for his birthday. Jamie is so touched he tells them a dream he had in the cave of the two of them playing together.
Bree’s head was bent over the tattered parchment, charcoal stick in hand, and her tongue poked out the corner of her mouth with concentration. The picture coming to life with each line and smudge.
“That’s it,a leannan.” What she believed to be her Grannie’s voice floated through her mind, urging her forward with each stroke.
Bree smiled, her heart beating faster as a sense of excitement and urgency overcame her. The strokes became haphazard and sloppy, but the images became more defined despite the mess.
A curl here, a shaded smudge there until the scrap of paper was filled from edge to edge. Once the likeness of herself was complete, Bree tossed the small mirror to the side and focused on the blanket covered figure next. She compared and used her own features to help create the face of an unseen baby.
“Mama!” Bree yelled, not taking her eyes off her task.
Claire waddled into the great room where her daughter lay next to the fireplace, Bran and Luke asleep beside her. “What is it, my love?” she asked, placing a hand on her swollen belly.
At this, Bree looked up to her mother. “Where are Grannie Ellen’s paints? Auntie Jenny said I may use them if I like.”
“I don’t know where they are. Have you asked your Auntie?”
Bree shook her head and frowned. “I dinna ken where she is to ask, but I knew you were nearby. Da doesna let you out to so much as pull a weed!” The small girl giggled at her mother’s glare.
“Think you’re so funny, do you? Well I’ll see if Mrs. Crook knows where they are. What are you going to paint?”
At this, Bree excitedly jumped up, thrusting the drawing overhead so that her mother could see.
“I’m going to use paint to accent this!” Claire took the drawing from the little girl vibrating with joy. “It’s for Da! So that he can have both of us with him.” Bree’s eyebrows furrowed. “Although, I dinna ken if I have a baby brother or sister. And I dinna ken what they look like, so I made the baby look like me! Once they’re born, I’ll paint Da a new one!”
Claire took in the messy drawing; to her it was squiggles on the page, but to her daughter, it was a masterpiece. Reaching out to tuck a stray ruddy curl from Bree’s face, Claire smiled then cupped her cheek. “Your Da will love this.”
“You really think so?” Bree’s voice was no more than a whisper.
“I know so.”
Two hours, a broken wooden leg, three screaming children, and an exasperated set of adults later, Bree had her Grannie’s paints and set to work on filling in color.
Twirling the brush, she added bright blue eyes to herself and the baby, followed by a bright mix of orange, yellow and red hair for herself and a more subdued orange and brown for the baby.
It was finished.
It was incredible in her eyes. It had just the right amount of color to balance out the deep black of the charcoal.
Carefully, Bree laid the still wet parchment on the hearth before laying down to watch the flames flicker.
She awoke to the sound of heavy boots thudding against the steps. The daylight had gone, the fire stoked to a roar in front of her, and beside her lay the drawing which had begun to curl about the edges.
“Sassenach?” The deep rumble of her father’s voice filled the hall.
Her body was filled to the brim with excitement as she dashed out of the room, drawing clutched protectively at her chest.
“DA!” she squealed. Jamie turned and lifted her into his arms eliciting giggles from her.
“Hello my wee one,” he said, pulling her head to his chest.
Bree breathed in deep the scent of the forest, mud and her Da. “I made you something.”
“Och! Ye did?” He smiled brightly. “Is it behind your nose? Or maybe under your chin?” Jamie leaned in and kissed and rubbed his beard on his daughter’s skin causing her to giggle and squeal stop, but he couldn’t dream of stopping that beautiful giggle.
“It’s right here!” Still breathless from laughing, Bree pulled the painting into view.
Jamie’s eyes went wide as he sat down, Bree perched on his knee. “You made this?”
She nodded enthusiastically, messy curls bobbing. “It’s me and the new baby,” she told him.
“Aye, I see that. Ye are the one here with the long curly red hair and the bright blue eyes. And this one,” he pointed to the blob of lines and paint, “must be your new sibling. It’s absolutely beautiful.”
“I’ve been practicing! Once Mama has the new baby I’ll paint another one with how they really look.” Bree beamed.
“Thank you, mo chridhe. I will keep this with me always.”
“I thought you’d like to put it in your hiding cave. That way you have both of us with you all the time instead of just when you come back to the house in the middle of the night,” Bree whispered.
Jamie’s eyes stung with unshed tears. He pulled his daughter tight to him. “You’re always with me, mo nighean ruaidh. I dream of ye and the unborn ween everyday. I canna wait to see and have you both so close to me in sleep that I have to see ye while I dream.”
“Really?” she asked, eyes wide.
“Aye. Everyday is different, but it’s always the same when it comes to who’s there.”
“Oh! Can I guess?”
Jamie laughed and nodded. “Go ahead, ye already ken two of the people.”
“Ye dream of me and the baby, Mama, Auntie Jenny, Uncle Ian, and all the people at Lallybroch!” She began to giggle as Jamie tickled her sides.
“Aye, ye named most of them. I do dream of yer Mama always, and of my godfather.”
Bree wrinkled her nose. “Why would you dream of stinky, grumpy Uncle Murtagh? He’s in the cave with you!”
Jamie heard stifled laughs that echoed his own. Claire, his sister, brother-in-law, and ‘stinky’ uncle all stood a few paces away.
“I dream of him, and all of you, because I love you.”
Yet another beautiful visual prompt from @outlanderedandoverhere with DDPJamie in his “Barbour” shirt. Or… Well… Technically SindyClaire is in the shirt. I put all the photos together so you wouldn’t have to click through. I also did a teeny bit of light editing on the big picture in the background so it’s easier to see. Hope y’all like it!!
Yet again, one of these lovely lines somewhere in this story came straight from her great mind. I just won’t tell you which one! ; D
Squinting down, Jamie grumbled to himself. Murtagh’s handwriting was the worst he’d ever seen. Glaring at the paper in his hand, he reached for his glasses to see if that would help decipher the code Murtagh called handwriting. Sitting on his bed with in his new trousers, he wondered where the hell Claire had run off to.
Murtagh claimed to have an announcement and insisted that he and Claire come to dinner where they would be joined by Suzette. Murtagh had scribbled down directions to this new restaurant and Jamie had a hell of a time trying to read it.
“Claire! Could ye come here?”
“Oh! If it’s dry, could ye bring my new shirt too?”
“Of course, darling.”
Giving up trying to read the gibberish, he put the note on the bedside table and his glasses down on the mattress. The bedroom door creaked open slowly. As he’d been pinching the bridge of his nose, his eyes started at the floor and worked their way up.
Bare feet with toenails painted bright red. two bare legs, freshly shaved and glistening with the lotion she favored. Bare knees and thighs and… His heart was racing.
The hem of the shirt obscured his view of… her. But only just. Belatedly, he realized that she was wearing his new Barbour shirt. Only the last one or two buttons was done up, though. He swallowed.
“Ah… Why are ye wearing my shirt, Sassenach?”
“You wanted me to bring it to you.”
He could just see the curve of one breast beneath the shirt. She’d rolled the sleeves up too, just below her elbows.
“Lose your train of thought, love?”
“Murtagh willna be happy if we’re late.”
“And why would we be late?”
“Because ye havena got yer gown on yet. And I ken ye like to dress up sometimes when we go out for a nice dinner.”
“Would ye read Murtagh’s instructions? I canna make heads or tails of it.”
She nodded and came closer, the fabric pulling away from her breasts a little. Carrying two beautiful daughters had not made her any less attractive.
Claire reached for the note and straddled one of his legs. The hem of the shirt pulled up just enough to show him she wore nothing beneath it.
“What was that?” she asked looking down at him.
“Ah,” he stuttered, realizing he’d made an incoherent sound. “Ye look…”
“Should I go in this?”
“I dinna think any restaurant would approve’a this, Sassenach.”
Claire sat down on his leg quite suddenly, looking him straight in the eye. Without thinking, his hands ran up her leg. Both her arms rested on his shoulders as she smiled and slowly wiggled her hips.
“I need my shirt. We’re already going to be late.”
She moved sensually and her smile turned positively feral.
“Well… If you want to wear this shirt tonight, it looks like you’ll have to take it off me…”
One of her hands gripped the top of his shoulder as she leaned down to kiss him. Her tongue was warm in his mouth, tasting faintly of brandy.
“Ye snuck some brandy,” he muttered against her mouth.
“And if I did?”
“Then ye came up here wi’ the intent of seducing me.”
She sat back a little and tilted her head to one side.
“Can you seduce someone that’s already in love with you?”
“Aye,” he said, pulling her back to him. “Ye can. Ye seduce me every time ye take me to bed.”
“Oh? And what about the times that you take me to bed?”
“Och, weel… I suppose that means I seduce you. What is a marriage wi’out mutual seduction?”
Grinning, she scooted closer and kissed him.
“Very, very boring and dull.”
“Weel. I dinna think anyone would ever accuse us of being boring or dull.”
“Especially not in bed.”
One of his hands reached down and gripped one perfectly rounded buttock while the other pushed the shirt out of the way.
She gasped a little and hooked her arms around his neck when he touched her. Lifting herself up, she granted him better access. Her flesh was already hot and slick.
“Slippery as an eel,” he mumbled as she began to churn her hips against his hand.
“You said that on our fourth anniversary.”
“Aye. Was true then, is true now. Christ, ye’re nearly mad wi’ lust aren’t ye?”
Laughing, he moved to unbutton the only two buttons that were holding the shirt semi-closed.
“What’s got ye in such a mood, then?”
“I think it’s time.”
His heart stopped for a minute as she looked down at him.
“Truly, Claire? Ye wish for another bairn? I ken Bree’s birth was a risky one.”
“She was, but I don’t care. I want to have another baby with you. I’ll be alright. Will you make another baby with me?”
“It would be my deepest honor, mo nighean donn.”
Fumbling with his belt, the shirt fell off her shoulders. She was getting agitated, judging by the way she was pulling at his clothes.
“I think that shirt looks better on you than on me.”
“Well I, for one, think it might look better on the floor.”
It took a little shifting and shimmying to get his trousers off enough to go about their business. Her arms still around his neck, she brought herself closer to him.
“Whatever news Murtagh and Suzette have will just have to wait,” she said quietly, getting closer to him.
“Aye. It will. We’ll call him later and apologize for standing him up.”
“He won’t be the only thing standing up.”
“That didna make sense, Sassenach. It was a terrible joke.”
Her snorting turned into laughing.
“I know. I couldn’t help it.”
She took him home in one thrust of her hips and they sighed in unison.
“We’ll need to tell the girls,” she said.
“No’ just yet. We’re only just making their brother right now.”
“So lets make him or her.”
Needing no further encouragement, he hugged her close and stood up before turning and laying her down on the bed. He was rather proud of himself, having maintained their connection the whole time.
Just as he was getting his rhythm, his cell phone rang. They both stopped, panting, and looked at it.
“Don’t you dare,” she said in a harsh whisper.
“Ye think I’d answer the bloody phone now?”
“The only thing I can think about right now,” he grumbled. “Is yer fat arse.”
He grabbed the topic of conversation in both hands and squeezed hard. Smiling up at him, she did the same. Her legs came around his hips, pulling him against her roughly.
For a few minutes, the only sound in the room was that of their lovemaking. Until her phone began to ring too. This time it was Suzette.
“Wait!” Claire cried out.
“If we don’t answer, Murtagh will come here and kick the door down.”
“Let him. I’m no’ stopping.”
She reached out for the phone, but he captured her hand in his and rammed his hips down on hers.
“They’ll keep calling!”
“I dinna care!”
“Just two minutes!”
She kissed him and, using his momentary distraction, grabbed the ringing phone.
“Hello? Suzette! Yes, I’m so sorry. I’m afraid something’s come up.”
Fine. If she would take a call now, he would make her pay for it.
Slowly, he kissed and nipped his way down her neck until he reached her breasts. Just thinking that in a few glorious months there could be another babe suckling at her breast made him giddy.
“No, no, I’m alright. Jamie’s a little under the weather at the moment. Tell Murtagh we’re so sorry about missing dinner. Perhaps we could make it up to you later? Yes! That sounds wonderful!”
Latching his mouth onto one breast, he nipped her gently. Her body jerked in surprise, making him smile.
“Ah… He’s busy at the moment. No, I can hear him yelling in Gaelic in the background. I know Murtagh is angry and I’m v-very sorry ab-about m-missing, the d-dinner.”
She pulled away from the phone and muted it quickly.
“Stop that!” she hissed.
“I told ye no’ to answer the phone. I have to entertain myself while I wait for ye.”
Claire glared at him and unmated the phone.
“I promise we’ll make it up to you both. Perhaps you can come by for tea tomorrow and share your big news. Yes that would - Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!”
He smiled and released her nipple from between his teeth.
“Sorry! No, Suzette, that wasn’t at you. Look, I’ll have to call you later and we can set up a good time to meet up, alright? Okay. Tell Murtagh we’re sorry. Yes, yes, I’ll tell Jamie to feel better.”
Sensing that the conversation was nearly over, Jamie crawled back to his original position and began moving again.
“Y-yes. H-have a g-good night, Suzette.”
Claire dropped the phone over the side of the bed.
“You bloody bastard,” she groaned.
“Ye should ken better than to answer the damn phone in the middle of this. That’s rude, Sassenach.”
Her eyes rolled back into her head as he picked up his speed.
When she cried out again, it was in completion and satisfaction. But he couldn’t stop, not just yet.
“Yes! Please, Jamie!”
With a howl, he too climaxed and shuddered.
For a long time, they lay curled in each other’s arms.
“I dinna ken if it’ll take right off,” he said quietly, twirling one of her curls around his finger. “But it’s the right time in your cycle.”
“I’m still amazed you keep such careful track of my cycle.”
“Aye. I must. That’s how I kent ye were breeding wi’ Faith and Bree. I’ll ken about this one too,” he said, patting her stomach.
Her sleepy eyes shone at him, happy and content.
“We don’t have the children tonight,” she said through a yawn. “We’ll have to make sure I’m pregnant before we get them back or Faith will be after us for being too loud.”
The exploration of Claire and Murtagh’s relationship (from season 1 all the way through) was one of my fave aspects of the show. They aren’t really shown in any real depth in the books, but getting to see this relationship strengthen to the point Murtagh’s just as much Claire’s godfather as he is Jamie’s was really beautiful to see. I mean seriously, they’d gotten so close Murtagh’s comfortably greeting her like
These two! Talk about finding a dynamic that worked out of nowhere. There’s no indication at all really in the books to suggest these two were all that close, but the show had some really amazing scenes between them that was really fun to watch.
Ok, even though this is more a Mother/Son dynamic, I add it here because when the season started, I think everyone expected to see Jamie and Fergus more than anything, so to see Claire and Fergus’ journey develop over the course of the season as it did was something that came as very much a welcome change. I loved seeing their dynamic together, their bond deepening with each episode. Each having moments where they took care of the other and they all became this family that when the time finally came for them to part, it was all the more heartbreaking.
Plus the chemistry they all had with each was just beautifully effortless.
i love this new murtagh au, so about one of him seeing Claire after she comes back
Murtagh sat at the table watching the door, waiting for Jamie. The lad was overdue by near an hour. There were details they needed to get straight so he could bring them to Fergus before the next shipment arrived. It was possible that Jamie had been held up by a demanding customer––it had happened before with last minute orders for broadsides coming in and irresistible sums of legal compensation in play; Jamie couldn’t refuse when the print shop was so necessary to keeping up appearances.
A familiar voice caught Murtagh’s attention. He looked up to find Jamie’s assistant Geordie blathering to anyone who would listen about stinking Papists and how he’d never work for one again.
Murtagh stood so fast his legs bumped the table and moved it several inches across the floor, upsetting patrons on either side of him.
If Geordie was at the tavern then it wasn’t likely Jamie was printing up broadsides for an order.
Geordie didn’t see Murtagh as he approached and so continued to whine until Murtagh’s shadow fell over him. His complaints cut off immediately at the scowl Murtagh gave him.
“What’re you doin’ here at this hour? Are ye no supposed to be workin’?” Murtagh asked pointedly.
Geordie seemed inclined to cower but made the effort of keeping his head raised and steady as he addressed Murtagh’s general direction rather than look him in the eye. “I quit,” Geordie informed him. “He was at it wi’ some whore when I got back runnin’ an errand and I refuse to be subjected to such inappropriate displays.”
Murtagh frowned at Geordie––who finally began to tremble––but then brushed past the useless man to exit the tavern.
If Madame Jeanne was showing up at the print shop it could only be bad news. Could something have happened to Fergus? It was possible the lad had been arrested. Or something might have happened to the shipment.
Murtagh hurried along the Edinburgh streets until he came to the print shop. The door was locked but a light still emanated from somewhere inside. Murtagh pulled out the extra key Jamie had insisted he take for emergencies and let himself into the shop. There was a small mess near the press in the back––something had spilled on the floor and tools for fixing the press remained out, the task unfinished… but there didn’t appear to have been a struggle… and the door had been locked…
“Mr. Malcolm!” Murtagh called loudly, his ears straining to catch a response.
There was a creaking of boards above his head and Murtagh moved to the stairs calling in a loud whisper, “Jamie! Jamie, lad!” before raising his voice to a more normal volume as he approached the door to the room where Jamie occasionally slept. “What in blazes is goin’ on wi’ ye? I came across that blowhard Geordie while I was waitin’ on ye. He said ye were––”
Bursting into the room, Murtagh found Jamie seated on the edge of his bed, a woman practically in his lap and his arms wrapped around her tightly. Her face was hidden from Murtagh’s view but he felt the heat rush to his face and looked away, unwilling to look too closely at whatever it was he’d interrupted.
“Apologies, ma’am,” Murtagh sputtered, turning hastily to leave them in privacy. “Jam––Mr. Malcolm,” he corrected. “If ye could meet me down in yer shop when ye have a moment.”
The strain of embarrassment and disgust in his voice was impossible to conceal and Murtagh was only half surprised when he heard laughter from the pair on the bed––or were they sobbing? The question was enough to turn Murtagh around again.
Jamie was rising from the bed but his hands found those of the woman sitting beside him, pulling her to her feet as well, unwilling or unable to let her go.
Murtagh squinted as the woman freed one of her hands to wipe at her face, Jamie following suit. There was something familiar…
“Claire?” Murtagh’s question was quiet with awe and disbelief. Jamie had mentioned having visions and dreams of Claire on any number of occasions. Murtagh understood the power of yearning and mourning, himself. But with Claire being whatever it was she was, could the lad have… summoned her, somehow?
Claire had stepped forward to embrace the startled Murtagh. “You’re looking well. I was afraid… when I finally went looking for Jamie… I hadn’t thought… but of course, how else would he have lasted this long without you watching out for him,” she rambled.
“Careful Claire,” Jamie cautioned stepping forward to take her hand again when she released Murtagh. He pulled her to his side again, keeping her close. “Ye’re like to knock him over, ye’ve given him such a fright.”
“If he falls, you’re picking him up,” she told Jamie as Murtagh’s speechless face glanced back and forth between them. “I’ve had my fill of fainting highlanders today. I thought you were supposed to be a heartier bunch?”
“What’s a man supposed to do when a ghost walks into his shop?”
The playfulness drained from both their faces and was replaced by an all too familiar pain.
“I’m sorry. I… I know that I’ve interrupted… well, I’ve interrupted whatever it is your lives have become,” Claire apologized.
“Sassenach,” Jamie murmured, turning her so that she faced him and then lifting her chin so that she looked at him properly. “Ye were and always will be the most welcome interruption in my life.”
Jamie’s thumb rubbed lightly along Claire’s jaw and Murtagh began to feel that they’d forgotten him so he cleared his throat loudly.
“I uh… I did come here for a reason,” he reminded the couple. “Jamie, lad, ye were supposed to meet me for supper and to discuss…” He trailed off, looking at Claire, uncertain what––if anything––Jamie had told her.
“Discuss what?” she asked, looking warily to Jamie.
“Murtagh’s right. There’s much to discuss, but it’s best handled over food. Ye must be hungry, Sassenach,” Jamie said, offering her his arm.
She took it and leaned briefly against his arm, then let him lead her past Murtagh and down the stairs.
Murtagh watched them move past him and noted how different Jamie already was; the way he moved seemed less encumbered; there was more life in his eyes; something passive and accepting in him had been brushed aside by aroused action and purpose.
It had been a long time since he’d seen Jamie look and act so young as he was now. Feeling a bit younger himself, Murtagh smiled.
This was hard. There are so many friendships in Outlander plus you’ve got Jamie & Jenny and Dougal & Colum too.
But I think my favorite friendship is Jamie & Murtagh. I know Murtagh is his godfather, but they are also friends. Murtagh has Jamie’s back no matter what comes. I expect that in S3, Ep 1 we will see this in action again as BJR and Jamie mix it up.
So my favorite Jamie & Murtagh scene - I have two.
One is in Paris when Jamie tells Murtagh about Claire. Murtagh accepts it - if Jamie says it’s true, and Claire’s a witch, well then it’s true. Doesn’t stopping him from punching Jamie in the face for waiting to tell him for so long.
The other scene is in the Season 2 finale when Jamie tells him that he had to kill Dougal. Murtagh isn’t surprised. He isn’t upset. He only wondered what took Jamie so long. If you look back over the series to this point, it’s obvious that Murtagh has no love or use for Dougal.
Honorable Mention: Murtagh & Claire
I love all the scenes between Murtagh and Claire right from the beginning. He rescued her from BJR and defended her to the others when they said she was a whore.
He told it to her straight when she screwed up or when he thought she should know stuff.
He was the best man/maid of honor at her wedding to Jamie.
My favorite Claire & Murtagh scene was in Paris, when he confronts her about the years she lived in the future. He accepts it. He doesn’t treat her badly or like she’s a freak. He is compassionate and knows that this couldn’t be easy for her.
25 Days of Outlander Day 2 - Favorite Murtagh Scene
My favorite Murtagh scene of Season 2 is from the juggernaut that is PRESTONPANS (so many of my favorites come from this glorious episode).
Claire asks Murtagh to watch over Jamie to which Murtagh responds, “Always.”
I’m a sucker for anytime there’s an “Always” like that (I have a long-planned, multi-fandom fanvid in progress around “Always” and Murtagh’s is going in it).
But beyond Murtagh always having Jamie’s back and reassuring Claire, the scene brings forward one of my favorite adjustments made for Season 2: Murtagh knowing the truth about Claire’s time traveling. He uses it in this scene to be reassuring to himself and to Claire – the Jacobites will win the battle.
(It’s also beautifully framed, as so much of the episode is).
And the scene comes back into play after the battle is over, but in a much less hopeful/reassuring way. Claire was right about the Jacobites winning the battle, but it means she’s also probably right about the Jacobites losing the war.
Murtagh telling the bonnie prince about Scotland in Not in Scotland Anymore
It’s well established at this relative mid-point of the episode that Murtagh is homesick for Scotland. He doesn’t care about a cause or the divine right of kings; he cares about his homeland and its people. There’s also an edge of pity for the prince who hasn’t had the honor of setting eyes on Scotland.
Murtagh: One, I dinna care. Two, a man doesna concern himself with the affairs of women. Suzette, the lady’s maid… is she in love with anyone? Fergus: Her? Oui! With any man who walks past her door! Murtagh: Nevermind, ye wee smout.