As they handed off their menus to the waitress, Murtagh waited a little impatiently for her to get out of earshot then turned his gaze to Jamie and leaned in.
Jamie said nothing as he reached across the table and handed Murtagh his phone. Claire texted the pictures from yesterday over to him before he’d even gotten in his own door last night. He knew each one by heart, having looked his fill already.
Jamie watched with anticipation as his godfather patted his pocket to retrieve his glasses, putting them on in preparation to scroll.
With a start he realized he’d never see either parents need to reach for reading glasses. They’d both died before living enough years to have aged into gray hair.
With his daughter lacking grandparents on either side of her family, he found himself doubly grateful for the irascible old bugger.
Theirs had always been an unusual relationship. Jamie was just a lad when his Mam was killed but he remembered enough.
He remembered the way both is Da and Murtagh had looked at Ellen when, for her 30th Birthday Party– a big event held the year before her death, with two hundred guests and fancy tables with flowers from the gardens pouring from urns and a live band set up under a tent on Lallybroch grounds– she’d come down the stairs wearing a formal red dress, silky with a deep décolletage and red high heels. It was like seeing sun coming out after a long, cold winter.
He knew his Da and godfather felt the same way for as he glanced over at them, they wore identical expressions of awe. No one greeted her as she turned the second floor landing and caught sight of the three of them standing there, both men stunned into silence.
That didn’t feel right to Jamie who called up enthusiastically, “Ye look beautiful, Mam!”
His mother blinked, then noticed Jamie decked out in full kilt standing to the side of his Da and smiled in delight.
“Why, thank ye kindly, good sir. Its nice to know ye have such gentlemanly manners, lad. They’ll work wonders for ye when you get out in the world.”
He could feel his face get a little hot. When Jamie was pleased his ears turned a bright pink and a flush rose up across his chest. Same thing happened to his Mam so she gave him an extra smile of recognition.
Jamie saw though that directly after, her eyes strayed back to Brian’s and stayed locked on his as he ascended the last steps to greet her. Their conversation was muffled, but Jamie didn’t want to hear it anyway, it would likely end in the two of them snogging, which was nothing he needed to see, again .
So he turned to Murtgah only to find the man still watching Ellen, his eyes had an expression in them that made his wame feel a bit funny. As an adult Jamie had understood the longing that he’d seen there that day, the futile hunger never quenched.
He also remembered that it was Murtagh in the weeks and months after Ellen’s passing that had kept the remaining Fraser bodies and souls together. Brian had good days and bad ones after but Murtagh always seemed to be there when needed, getting the kids supper, to school and back, the little things here and there that kept the house a home when the grief overwhelmed Da.
In the ensuing years Jamie had wanted to ask his father about the odd relationship he and Murtagh shared, both loving the same woman and yet best friends, but he didn’t dare to do so.
Nor could Jamie speak of such matters to Murtagh, either. One of the solid pillars of the relationship between his father and godfather was that neither man discussed Murtagh’s feelings for Ellen.
How much did Ellen know of Murtagh’s feelings? Clearly Brian not only knew, he’d counted on Murtagh to stand as stalwart guardian over his children to see them safe as he came to terms with the loss.
To surface that thorny topic would cause reverberations that might lead to even more losses for the family. But Jamie had eyes, a heart and sensitive soul that knew what lay beneath the surface nevertheless.
For all the complexities and complications of their family, Murtagh had loved both his parents and in that loving helped he and Jenny keep their memories alive. Having him here to share the surprise of Faith was a deeply satisfying feeling and Jamie eagerly awaited his reaction.
Glasses firmly perched on his nose, Murtagh looked down as Jamie watched his face; he didn’t disappoint. Jamie knew he was looking at:
Jamie straightening Jane’s bonnet as Faith beamed her approval elicited a puzzled expression of inquiry from Murtagh.
The two of them playing side by side, Faith with an animated look of determination and Jamie trying to be subtle about staring at her from the corner of his eye. Both had the same habit of squeezing the right side of their mouths down in identical lines of concentration. Jamie watched as Murtagh registered the fact the picture had captured that unexpected moment of symmetry and his bushy eyebrows rose all the way up into his forehead.
Murtagh scrolled forward and chuckled seeing Faith’s gleeful joy as the tower toppled over, colorful blocks frozen in mid-tumble, Jamie scowling in faux-horror.
He grunted when he saw Faith reaching for a piece of carrot from Jamie’s fork staring hard at the close up image of the girl’s face and lingered over the obvious shape of her eyes.
Jamie couldn’t suppress his grin when he heard a quiet, “Ah!” from his godfather.
Knowing that he had arrived at the picture of Jamie holding Faith in his lap reading her favorite story. Any lingering doubts Murtagh had were dispatched. In that image, looking at them head on, her face directly in front and close to his allowed for easy comparison; the shared Fraser features were unmistakeable.
Murtagh sighed as he looked at the last one, Jamie caught completely unaware tucking his daughter into bed. Not much of her was visible, just her curls exploding on her purple pillow as he kissed her cheek, with her wee hand patting the scruff of his face.
Whatever Murtagh had been expecting, this wasn’t it. Surprise was not quite the word. As he handed Jamie back his phone, Jamie saw Murtagh’s cheeks were damp. But his smile was huge and the delighted twinkle in his eye warmed Jamie’s heart.
Jamie had always been the child of his heart, the one most like Ellen in looks and temperament. Murtagh found himself increasingly grateful as the years passed for the connection.
If Ellen couldn’t give him the one thing he’d wanted from her (the moment her eyes met Brian’s, she longer had it to give), in the end, she’d given him something perhaps even more precious. Murtagh found he didn’t begrudge the trade, for all that he’d had no choice in the matter anyway.
Murtagh looked Jamie over, it was impossible to look into his face and not see Ellen’s eyes staring out at him. But for all that Jamie was his mother’s son, a fair bit of Fraser was in him, too. The reservoir of strength that lay in him, the sense of duty and loyalty that had been shaped by his father.
The sharp jolt of their loss had worn away but Murtagh found it was still with him, perhaps more rather than less as the years passed. He and Brian had managed to bridge the divide that threatened when, as a giddy young man fresh from from his first semester at university, he’d brought Miss Ellen MacKenzie home to Fraser lands to meet his folks during a break at the Edinburgh College of Fine Arts.
They’d been in the same Into to Form class. The first day they’d walked in to discover a nude model standing in the middle of the studio without so much as a by-your-leave. Instructed to find an open canvass and begin, Murtagh had been gobsmacked, trying hard to look at anything other than the model’s puckered nipples, big as shillings, staring straight at him.
He heard a snicker, a little mix of naughty and genuine amusement and raised his head. That’s all it took, one glance at her fiery mane and deep blue eyes, crinkling with embarrassed laughter over the top of a easel. He’d fallen instantly in love.
They’d been seeing one another, but not wanting to appear foolishly impulsive, he’d never told her how he felt. He’d played it cool, casual. The fall break was only a couple of days, too short for her to make the long journey back to the home she shared with her two brothers, so he’d invited her to come home with him. He was excited to show her the glens and hills of Broch Mordha, the color palette that had inspired his artistic roots in the first place.
The crisp fall air beckoned and they’d gone out for a walk over bramble and bush where they’d been spotted by Brian Fraser, out riding to check on the coos in the far field. He cut quite a fine figure, did Mr. Fraser, atop that pure white beast.
Her head came up just as he was about to dismount. Distracted by her arresting looks, he’d been thrown off his horse and dumped unceremoniously into the mud at her feet.
She burst into laughter, but it wasn’t unkind. Brian replayed the last couple of minutes in his own mind knowing full well he’d been showing off, riding Donas to impress and had just made a cake of it. He couldn’t help but join her, his rueful barks of amusement filling the air.
Unfortunately for Murtagh, Ellen had taken one look at Brian’s chagrined smile and fallen instantly in love. The spark between them almost a tangible object spinning through the air.
Murtagh knew it was a wonderfully romantic story, but the pain of it not being about him was an aching wound, even years after her passing.
Brian had proposed to Ellen just before Hogmanay, she was still only 18, marrying him meant leaving University. Yet both Ellen and Brian knew from the second they met nothing else would do.
So they persisted over the vociferous objections of her older brothers and Brian’s father, who (disgustingly) met Ellen and decided he wanted her for himself. Strange man, Simon Lovat.
Brian and Ellen were thus left on their own, no family on either side to smooth the way for the couple. Brian must have had a sense that there would be trouble for them. Perhaps that was why he’d come to see Murtagh before he’d even proposed.
A sign of respect, Murtagh knew, and the only time Brian had ever acknowledged what lay between them.
“I ken I’m asking something of ye that I’m no’ so sure I’d be prepared to give ye had it gone the other way, but would you stand wi’ me, be my best man?”
Torn between wanting to tell him to go fuck himself and fear of what his life might become without Ellen MacKenzie in it, Murtagh took a deep breath and reconciled himself to the inevitable.
It gave him some comfort knowing how deeply Brian had loved her, that and standing godfather to their bairns. A different kind of creation maybe but there was a true artistry in it for all that.
Murtagh was startled out of his reverie by a sharp noise from Jamie, clearly intended as an invitation to be nosy. He waited until their food had been laid before them and started in.
“I take it ye didna know about the wee lassie?” Jamie shook his head. “Did ye date the mother for awhile? Where did the two of you meet?”
Jamie filled him in on the details of his afternoon and evening. He mentioned Claire’s name as often as Faith’s, and Murtagh consciously made an effort to keep a knowing grin off his face.
“What’s to be done then?” He asked and Jamie understood what he meant.
“For now Claire suggested that we no’ make a formal schedule but bid me to come when I can. I’ve offered to walk them over to the daycare at the hospital in the morning so I can meet the staff and have my contact information added to Faith’s file. She, that is Claire, is working late so I can pick Faith up in the afternoon and drop her off at Claire’s and meet her sitter, Mrs. Crooke. This weekend Claire asked if I’d accompany them on a picnic in the park, simple stuff, really. Did I tell ye she can count to twenty?” That set him off again on a litany of Faith-related accomplishments.
Murtagh smiled to himself. He had known the Fraser siblings all their lives. More importantly though, he knew the man and woman that had raised them.
Murtagh took in the body language, recalled the last snap in the series and the look of desperate longing in Jamie’s face as he kissed his bairn good night, the quiet excitement and pulse of energy that thrummed through his body when, like now, he spoke of Faith and of Claire and he understood what Jamie couldn’t yet articulate.
He knew very well that once a Fraser gave his or her heart, it was irrevocable. Brian and Ellen moved mountains and defied both their families to be together. Jenny had known almost from the moment she met Ian that he was hers– no matter that they were bairns themselves.
Whether because of the moral code with which he was raised or due to genuine desire, Jamie Fraser wasn’t about to give up the family he never knew existed, not now. He had found them, and he was going to keep them.
good psychiatry-critical discourse: diagnosis and psychiatric medication are imperfect and are sometimes used to punish people. at best, diagnostic labels are social constructions we use to try to describe real experiences. there is a long history of psychiatric abuse that continues today. it’s completely valid to mistrust psychiatrists. many psychiatrists are arrogant and unwilling to learn from their clients.
bad psychiatry-critical discourse: all/most diagnostic labels [especially adhd and autism] were made up by big pharma shills so they could get rich selling you drugs you don’t need
additional info added 17 may 2016: i am autistic and have adhd. i do not agree with the bad discourse. adhd and autism are real and adhd medication is extremely helpful to many people in the world (myself included). adhd and autism are very underdiagnosed in populations other than white cis boys.
No Forests on Flat Earth is a masterpiece of efficient storytelling. It argues that thousands of years ago, the planet was covered by a layer of forests where the trees sprouted for miles into the atmosphere. You know, as if the planet was subtly trying to signal to the cosmos that it had super-inadequacy issues. Some unknown cataclysm in the biosphere then came along and wiped out these gigantic specimens, leaving us stuck with the piss-poor imitations that you can see outside your window.
Obviously, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and, luckily, we have that in spades.
That’s Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Some shills in Big Geology would have you believe that’s a natural rock formation known as a ‘butte’. However, the folks over at YouTube University for the Woke AF have news for you: it’s actually an ancient petrified tree stump because…well, it looks like a big tree stump.
At our best guess, 90% of this movie’s runtime (nearly two motherfucking hours!) is spent idly alternating between pictures of tree stumps, pictures of suspicious-looking rock formations, and pictures of our beautiful planet before we came along to pollute it with No Trees on Flat Earth. The video also challenges viewers to name two differences between tree stumps and rock formations that don’t have anything to do with size and material type, as if those are just inconsequential details in their theory. Adorable!
Cuphead really is a Fleischer's cartoon in game form. It really is like they got everything down when it comes to the pre-Hayes Code cartoon era. Also funny enough this game got an E rating, even with the fact that the Devil is the antagonist, and there is gambling, alcohol, and smoking.
It’s fucking insane how well they got the aesthetic down, like holy shit. This looks more impressive visually than whatever generic FPS/TPS big name devs shill at E3.
LOL, I'm laughing so hard....TMZ posted an article about how Freddie is Louis's mini-me because he is the spitting image of his dad! Larries really picked the wrong basket to put all their eggs in when they chose tmz as their babygate ender.
Proteins are so overrated, this whole 'central dogma' BS is only pharmaceutical propaganda from companies who want to sell you 'The best' aminoacids.
i just….cannot fathom how deeply wrong this is….like just so unendingly wrong…so let me enumerate the ways in which you, my dear anon, are wrong
proteins are great. they do like all the shit. DNA? DNA just sits there and looks pretty and then the proteins do all the real work. RNA at least pulls it’s weight but proteins still do everything (s/o to lipids for also doing work)
sure the central dogma is oversimplified and the there are some wrinkles in how it actually works (s/o to transposons and retroviruses) but it pretty much holds for all DNA based life that we have yet encountered, although tbf RNA world is pretty great, ngl
really the most problematic thing about the central dogma is the word dogma, which means something that CANNOT be questioned because it is TRUE, which you will recognize as inherently unscientific, but like, whatevs no one actually thinks that anymore
even Big Pharma isn’t that powerful like
I’m not gonna sit here and defend Big Pharma or anything but wow if they were faking all of modern biology I would be so impressed because like, i literally wouldn’t have a job?
Oh My God maybe i’m really a Big Pharma shill?!?!?!? (*psst Big Pharma* who do I need to talk to to get a raise around here?)
I’m so confused by what the best amino acids are? Like, I’m partial to ILV and like alanine because they don’t scramble but I realize that’s a very inside baseball answer
I mean not all amino acids are created equal but like, it’s like picking my favorite child, yaknow? (don’t tell the others but it’s totally phenylalanine)
Maybe that’s you’re point but why would Big Pharma profit from selling you amino acids? pretty much only weight lifters consume large amounts of them and like, they’re dirt cheap
Serious amino acids are so cheap, just so so cheap
I’m more confused now than I was before?
In conclusion, proteins are great and you are wrong
All right people, LISTEN UP! It’s Black Friday. So, while some people are off trampling their way through the big-box stores to get presents for a lot of people, those of us who work as online artists and artisans often go with empty inboxes. In an effort to help fix that, and also to spread the word around about all our shops in time for Cyber Monday or tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday, I’ve created this post.
Here’s what to do:
Got a small business, preferably an online one? Grab this post and reblog it. Just add a link to your shop, maybe a description and 2-3 pictures of your work. I’ll be grabbing this post and reblogging it around every so often as well, which means you’re quickly going to get exposure to hundreds, if not thousands of people.
Don’t have a small business or anything like that? REBLOG THE HELL OUT OF THIS POST ANYWAYS- help spread the word and support your artist-y type friends.
That’s it. It’s that simple. I’ll include my own shop as a smple in the first reblog.