Literally puts Burr in the role of other people who fucked over Hamilton to make him more antagonistic, inaccurately portrays him as prejudiced against immigrants, makes it so he ran against Hamilton's father in law while they were still 'friends', has him 'betray' both Hamilton and Jefferson for no reason leaving out the abuse he endured from both of them beforehand, acts like Burr shot Hamilton because Hamilton prevented him from being a power-hungry dick and once again leaves out the years of libel and defamation, has Burr shoot Hamilton after he clearly forfeit the duel (this did not happen), asserts that Burr only got through university because his dad had been the president there and not because he's actually smart
Erases the fact that Hamilton owned slaves and handled slave transactions for Angelica and her family, oversimplifies the Reynolds affair and leaves out the sheer extent to which Maria was at a disadvantage, completely leaves out all the times Hamilton purposefully defamed and humiliated Burr, portrays Hamilton as in love with Betsey (Eliza) and remorseful over the Reynolds affair to a much greater extent than he was in real life, disses Hamilton's enemies for owning slaves while completely leaving out the fact that many of his friends and colleagues did as well because we can't have Hamilton associating with slave owners amirite
Man I'm so glad this musical portrays both Hamilton and Burr as complex flawed human beings and totally doesn't force them into heroic/villainous roles
Oh no I made a new OC. 🙈 Have yourself an apprentice, Badgerclaw!
Name: Honeypaw Clan: Shadowclan Status: Apprentice Appearance: A petit, pretty flame-point she-cat with large ears, blue eyes, and a small pink nose. Personality: -An enthusiastic goody-two-shoes
-Has a good mind for facts/trivia. Would totally be a bookworm. Total know-it-all
-Can be annoyingly optimistic
-A decent hunter, but has a tendency to freeze when faced with combat
-Every cat wonders why she didn’t choose to become a medicine cat apprentice instead. If asked she dodges the question
-Secretly very insecure about her ability to be a warrior, but very desperate to prove herself. Her worry occasionally sends her into a panic. Tries to compensate for her lack of physical ability with knowledge and trivia. Relationship with Badgerclaw:
-She doesn’t seem at all affected by his grumpiness
-Badgerclaw is such a shitty hunter that she secretly asks fellow apprentices for hunting tips. Is already a better hunter than Badgerclaw.
-Best buddies. Badgerclaw will quietly sit and listen to her rattle off about clan history, prey behavior, etc for hours on end. (He may or may not just be spacing out though)
-Relationship is entirely platonic, but no cat seems to believe it
-Badgerclaw has a very difficult time finding a balance between irrationally over-protective, and dangerously hands-off during training
Aaron Burr in Hamilton biographical stuff:
Creepy/sexually predatory, calm & collected except when pissed, always scheming, smug as an elementary student who just got a classmate in trouble 100% of the time, Spoiled Rich White Guy™, probably Scar from The Lion King as a human
Aaron Burr in real life:
Bankrupted himself spending too much on charity/grapes/hookers, weirdly cheerful/upbeat, generally a chill dude and really hard to genuinely piss off, once set himself on fire trying to light a candle with a gun, lots of self-deprecating and death-related jokes
Rockfleet Castle, or Carrickahowley Castle is a tower house near Newport that was built in the mid-sixteenth century. It is most famously associated with Gráinne O'Malley, the pirate queen and chieftain of the clan O’Malley.
I was thinking about Furiosa’s last (and only) words to Immortan Joe: “Remember me.”
That line’s always kind of puzzled me. Is it a challenge? A rhetorical question? A “fuck you”? A reckoning? All of the above? I mean, it’s no doubt a pretty badass thing to growl at the tyrant who abducted and enslaved you right before you tear his face off, but I started thinking about its similarities to another of Fury Road’s Arc Words: “Witness me.”
When you’re a War Boy, your body is an expendable, broken-down machine, your torturous half-life spent waiting for the ultimate self-sacrificing high; the best you can hope for is a spectacular death, for that death to be “witnessed.” The worst thing you can hear is the scoff of “mediocre”: your life, you thought, was building to this moment; you cast yourself on the pyre of blood and chrome with hopes of eternal glory; you gave up everything, and it wasn’t enough. Your half-life (and afterlife) hinges on the moment of your death, and how well it served your god-king.
Now, let’s look at the Vuvalini’s death-rite. You know the one.
In contrast to the War Boy’s bombastic cry of “Witness!”, this action is quiet, a silent promise to remember, to write the names of the lost on one’s heart. This is not a weakness- the Vuvalini are nothing if not resourceful and resilient, despite the tragedies that have befallen their once-prosperous clan.
But those they lost are never forgotten- who they were is more important than how they died. Thematically, this healthy and compassionate culture of remembrance contrasts with Max and his frequent visions of “those I could not protect.”
Memory is a theme that is especially present in Fury Road, and yet it’s the aspect of the film’s thematic gamut that I see least discussed. Mad Max as a whole takes place in a sort of limbic time warp. How long ago were these disasters? The oil shortages, the flying nukes, the water wars? Fury Road might take place two decades or two centuries after this cataclysm. Even people who grew to adulthood in the old world, like Max and the Vuvalini are implied to, have foggy, off-kilter memories of those times (”Everyone had a show…”), that seem more like secondhand myths than actual recollection. The old world has passed into legend and superstition even to those who lived in it.
The remnants and parphenalia of the pre-apocalypse and their use in the post- is a major cornerstone of Mad Max’s aesthetic, and even in this, there is a clear thematic distinction between how these trappings manifest between groups. The Buzzards, for instance, seemingly lacking even the demented ingenuity of Immortan Joe’s rev-heads, merely scavenge the past, cannibalizing it into a shape that is feral, ungainly, and myopic.
Immortan Joe’s empire is a blood-soaked engine whose organic components are reduced to their function- whatever it is that they can do or give to benefit Joe, whether it be milk, blood, or children. It’s no wonder the War Boys’ fetishize and worship of technology. They regard their own diseased, “half-life” bodies as inferior to the vehicles they’re obsessed with- strong and solid and never-tiring. Indeed their doctor is even called “the Organic Mechanic” and they bear circuit-like engine-tattoos and ceremonial chrome mouth-spray-paint to imitate the mighty machines they worship and envy.
The accoutrements of the past are used as symbols of power, or else hoarded away, as in the vault-like chamber where Joe keep his wives and other “treasures.”
The Vuvalini (and to a wider extent, the women of Fury Road), are the keepers of memory and hope.
Their way is not fetishization, but preservation. From the bag of seeds to their extensive clan and familial history, the Many Mothers have a rich and vital store of knowledge and culture. And, of course, lets not forget Ms. Giddy, the History Woman, literally the physical embodiment of knowledge, her body a living record.
So back to Furiosa, who herself has gone on a journey from being trapped in the depths of the War Boy culture to reconnecting with her past and, like Max, relearning how to connect with people, to move beyond the instincts of survival. In the moment of her confrontation with Joe astride his Gigahorse (incidentally the first, last, and only time in the entire film that Joe comes truly face-to-face with either of our protagonists), Furiosa sums up her entire journey, not just in the film, but over the course of her entire life, in those two words, before literally, figuratively, and gruesomely ripping the mask off the false god and spelling an end to his horrific ideology. From this perspective, “Remember me” is a powerful statement, the mantra of the society that Furiosa, the Vuvalini, and the no-longer-Wives will build, where people are more than their “usefulness”; where the past has lessons to teach, not just trappings of power to grant; where those you’ve lost do not become spectres, but immortalized in memory.
In the fires of armageddon, one ideology says that you are infinitesimal, expendable, that the world will not miss you, is not capable of missing you. The other promises that there is more to you than your base instincts of survival or your “function” in a harsh and violent world; that your name will be remembered; that those who survive you will not forget.
<b><p></b> <b><p></b> <b>Everybody woke up on Monsta X:</b> They are now having their first World Tour. Everyone can now effectively communicate with international fans using more than simple greetings.<p/><b>Shownu (still):</b> Hi hello annyeong.<p/></p><p/></p><p/></p>
Story (past) - Part 2:
The Clan council went to Genji and asked him to challenge Hanzo. They wanted
Genji to defeat him and prove that no matter how much Hanzo was “faking” to be
an alpha, he could never compete with a true one. They wanted Genji to lead.
Genji refused, disgusted by the propose, and remarked that Hanzo was perfectly
capable of being a leader. He also offended the whole council by saying that
Hanzo would probably be the best leader of the Shimada’s Clan history, even
better than their ancestors… and that pissed them off. The council convoked
Hanzo (it was an honour to be in the council presence, and Hanzo was so
freaking happy!) just to tell him that they KNEW that Genji was going to try
his luck and MURDER HIM to become the leader. They wanted the brothers to fight
to choose who was actually the stronger and rightful leader. Hanzo was
absolutely CRUSHED by the news… the only one who believed in him, the only person
he really trusted… suddenly become the biggest threat, turning his back to him
like everyone else have ever done!
Hanzo believed the council (why would they lie? They were the highest of the
authorities!) and fulfilled their orders: he attacked Genji who refused to
fight, at first. Convinced that it was only a trick, Hanzo insisted until Genji
fought back, exasperated, just to make Hanzo come to his senses. Their fight
doesn’t obviously end well and Genji, injured, lose and fall off the waterfall
located at the top of the Shimada’s mountains. Hanzo was finally the rightful
leader, he could go back to the Clan and finally be accepted… but as he lose
sights of his brother he immediately regret his actions and feel the weight of
his own actions. He run away, consumed by guilt and shame, and never claim his
role in the Clan he work so hard to obtain.
Aaron Burr and Maria Reynolds/Lewis, aka the “I Made the Mistake of Trusting Alexander Hamilton, Got Brutally Taken Advantage of and Humiliated, and Became Demonized and Vilified Throughout History so People could Hero Worship Hamilton” squad
Tolquhon Castle is rather different to the types of ‘castle’ which usually appear on this blog- improved hugely in the late sixteenth century it was not really meant to be defensible, and was instead a stately residence, for the laird to demonstrate his cultured and sophisticated lifestyle to his peers. Situated a few miles from Ellon and Pitmedden, in the midst of rolling Aberdeenshire countryside, and probably once surrounded by gardens, it is still very possible to imagine how Tolquhon would have looked in its heyday, a comfortable country house in a distinctively Scottish style, with both historical and aesthetic appeal.
Tolquhon Castle is first mentioned in 1536, as a tower house with surrounding buildings but the oldest parts of the building seem to date back to the first half of the fifteenth century. Preston’s Tower- the hulking square tower to the right in the top picture- is the remains of what was very much an average Scottish tower house of that period, and may have been built either by Sir Henry Preston (d. 1420) or Sir John Forbes, who had married Henry’s daughter Marjorie Preston and thus acquired Tolquhon for a branch of the Forbes family (a very proliferate family- you will find Forbes castles all over Aberdeenshire and Buchan). The tower house would have been the main feature of the residence for the next century or so, until the time of William Forbes, the seventh laird, who opted for a much more comfortable residence. Sir William’s father had been killed at Pinkie Cleugh, and earlier his elder brother had been executed for treason by King James V but William it seems was made of different stuff and, having served for a while at James V’s court, when he became laird he turned his attentions to local charitable work and cultural interests, having a hospital constucted adjoining the kirk in Tarves, among other things. In his old age, he decided Tolquhon Castle was to be a symbol of his status and sophistication, and the new building work was begun in 1584 under the eye of local architect Thomas Leiper, whose family had already worked on several other castles in the area. It progressed quickly and in only five years the new residence was complete, with the laird proudly having an inscription detailing the achievement placed on the wall, and taking an inventory of his possessions there only a few weeks afterwards. For a relatively minor lord, Tolquhon was a pretty respectable manor and Forbes would have been even prouder when he got the opportunity to show off his new castle to King James VI, who visited soon after its completion. Forbes died only seven years later in 1596, having also had a tomb built for himself and his wife Elizabeth Gordon in the parish kirk at nearby Tarves, which may still be seen. Though his son had originally intended to continue the work at Tolquhon this never materialised and the castle remained much the same until its forfeiture during the Jacobite rising of 1715, after which it passed into the hands of the crown and then the earl of Aberdeen, before being used, like so many old castles during this period, as extra housing for farm workers. It passed into the hands of the state in 1929 and is now preserved for the nation by Historic Scotland and is open to the public.
The castle has many interesting features, not least the gateway at the northern entrance, which would once have been turreted and is adorned with carvings, including the royal arms and a statue of Sir William Forbes in full period dress. In the southern range meanwhile were the family rooms, including the great hall with its hexagonal paving and the laird’s bedroom and other private rooms off it. On the west side of the castle was a long gallery, which would have housed books and portraits of the family, as well as providing an indoor entertainment space in case of bad weather. This probably overlooked gardens and traces of landscaping have been found in the grounds. In the long wall surrounding the forecourt there are also large holes which would have housed beehives, while the remains of a doocot may also be found. Despite all this apparent comfort, defensible and administrative features were not entirely neglected- there is a secret hiding spot in the family rooms on the south range, while next to the bakehouse is a pit for imprisoning wrongdoers which could only be accessed via a trapdoor in the room above. Nonetheless, Tolquhon’s main purpose was as a residence, not a fortress, and even today you can still get a sense of how it must have looked when it was a bustling lordly manor.
The pictures are mostly mine except the painting obviously, which is by an artist James William Giles. It dates from 1857 and shows Tolquhon with some of the roofs still intact.
Disclaimer: I made this for myself first, as a way of introducing my basic lore in a fun way. It’s easy to write about the exciting parts, but it can also make it hard to address all the tiny basic details that make up the background of your lore
Feel free to use it, or even reblog and add more questions
1. Does your clan have a leader? Who is it? How does your clan feel about them? Were there any past leaders?
2. What was your clans beginning? Who were your progenitors, and are they important to the clans history?
3. Where does your clan live?
4. Have they always lived there? If no, where did they live before and what made them move.
5. Do they thrive in the area or is it a constant struggle to survive? Do they have readily have access to water, food, and shelter?
6. Is your clan friendly or hostile to strangers
7. Is your clan open to the public or closed off to strangers (is it easily traveled to or hidden somewhere)
8. Is it hard for an outsider to join? What would one must do to be a part of the clan
9. Does the clan work as one like a pack (I.e everyone taking care of each other) or is it more like a town with everyone doing their own things
10. How does your clan view/handle exalting?
11. What is your clans relationship with their deity? Are they very religious or indifferent?
12. How do they view members of their clan who may be of a different flight?
13. Is there any dragon species discrimination?
14. How do they view magic? Do they see magic as something to be embraced or feared?
15. How do you address gen 1 dragons in your lore, if at all? Do you have a gen 1? How were they born and/or found by the clan?
16. How are breed changes addressed in your lore?
17. Does your clan hoard anything? Are they items of importance or aesthetic? Explain the meaning behind why you collect what you do
18. How does your lore address breeding? Is it an intimate act of love or just something done to help contribute to the clan
19. What are the nesting grounds in your lore?
20. What is your clans relationship with the beastclans?
21. Where does your clan store food, treasure, etc.
New York City, where Casey Jones is from, was overrun by criminals. Enticed by examples from TV, Casey decided to do something about the crime in the streets. After equipping himself with a hockey mask and various sports clubs, he began his vigilante campaign. When Jones was young, his father, Arnold Casey Jones Sr., owned an auto shop. A group of Purple Dragon members burned the shop down, killed his father and took his mother and sister hostage. The badly beaten Casey refused to lie down and take Hun’s blows. He attacked Hun with a knife, stabbing him in the neck. Enraged, Hun had beaten him to within an inch of his life. It seemed that the beating he took from Hun as a teenager resulted in several mental and emotional disorders, explaining his often violent and erratic behavior. Casey first appeared in Raphael #1 (June 10, 1985). Raphael runs into Casey beating some muggers and proceeds to stop him before the crooks are murdered. Jones and Raphael fight several times before making peace with each other. Later, he comes to the aid of the Turtles, Splinter and April O'Neil when they are attacked by the resurrected Shredder at April’s home. The seven escape, and retreat to a farmhouse in Northampton, Massachusetts that once belonged to Casey’s grandmother. Casey “officially” becomes a part of the Turtles’ family around this point, and the farmhouse acts as a second home to the group for some time.
Hello, I am devastated basically. Carol has chosen the Kingdom over her family and has ultimately chosen Zeke over Daryl. I was afraid the people in charge would do this. I am as hard core of a castle as they come and now Carol is with the Kingdom in episode 2. I had so much hope over the break and after the 10th episode I was extremely confident but they aren't taking Caryl in that direction. I could cry my eyes out right now I am so sad. How do you feel about it?
Hi, Nonny, I am sorry you feel so upset. I think it is too early to know for sure that “Carol has chosen the Kingdom over her family and has ultimately chosen Zeke over Daryl” . Here is why:
I am having SO SO much fun with this AU. It’s crazy. And all of your responses to it have been so encouraging. I can’t wait to see where this goes! As always, my amazing partners in crime @diversemediums and @outlandishchridhe are incredible! DM asks so many important questions that I usually don’t have the answers to. But we work it out!! I love all your theories and hope you all love this chapter!
The drive home for Claire was quiet and slow. She took her time, hardly paying attention to where she was actually going. All she could think of was the conflict Jamie had had. While he’d said repeatedly that he didn’t want to see her again, she was sure it wasn’t true. Not after he’d given her that book. That was a family treasure, something generations of Frasers had used to document their history. Every birth, every death, and every story worth noting in between. He knew she would appreciate and take care of it because of her uncle, but was that the only reason he’d given it to her?
When the road began to blur, Claire pulled over onto the side of the road and fought to control herself. A strange ache began to pulse in her chest, something she hadn’t felt in a very long time. She thought about never seeing Jamie again, never hearing his voice, never seeing his smile. She thought about those hours she’d spent sharing his hospital bed, how content she’d been in those moments. He was right, she still had Frank and her work, even Geillis if she was honest, but in the light of Jamie’s presence in her life, they didn’t feel like enough. She just couldn’t lose him.
Was it possible to love someone you hardly knew? To know, deep down in your soul, that life without that person wasn’t a life worth having?
“It doesn’t matter,” she said to herself, rubbing the tears out of her eyes. “It doesn’t bloody matter.”
Before she did anything else, Claire drove home to deposit the book and clean herself up. After cleaning her face, she stood in front of her mirror, looking into her own eyes.
“It’s time,” she said to herself, thinking of Frank.
They’d lived a comfortable life together, but that wasn’t enough anymore. No matter what happened with Jamie, whether she found him or not, she had something she needed to do.
“I have to tell him.”
Back in her car, she pulled onto the road and drove with purpose to Frank’s flat.
He was home, as she knew he would be. With an early class the next morning, he rarely went out late. For a moment, she thought it might be too hard for her to end things with Frank. Then she compared the thought of never seeing Frank again to never seeing Jamie and she knew the truth. Despite what might happen with Jamie, Frank simply was not her match.
“Claire?” Frank asked, opening his door. “Are you alright?”
“No, actually,” she replied, awkwardly wringing her hands together. “Do you have a few minutes to talk?”
“Of course, come in.”
Carefully dodging his greeting kiss, she walked in and sat on his couch. He raised an eyebrow but sat down beside her, making sure to leave space between them.
“What’s wrong, Claire?”
“Frank, I… I’m not sure how to say this, so I suppose I’ll just say it. I think we should see other people.”
He blinked, brows lifting in surprise.
“What? You want to end things between us?”
“Can you tell me why? I think you owe me that much.”
She nodded, knowing she did owe him a real explanation.
“It isn’t that you’re a bad man or that you did anything wrong.”
“Is there… someone else?” he asked delicately.
“I’ve never been unfaithful to you,” she assured him. “Not once. But… It isn’t fair to you. You’re a good man, Frank.”
He nodded slowly, looking down at his hands.
“Just not the one for you.”
Claire let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding and shook her head slowly.
“I’m afraid not.”
When he finally met her eyes again, she saw the sadness. But this was for the best, for both of them.
“I’m sorry, Frank.”
Nodding again, he stood and walked to the table where his keys sat. He picked them up and, seeing what he was doing, Claire fished her own keys out of her purse. After a moment he returned to her, handing over his copy of the key to her flat. She held his out for him to take, grateful that their parting had been amicable. Their relationship may not have been True Love, but at least there had been a foundation of mutual respect.
She let herself out, feeling a strange sense of freedom. In her car once more, she thought about her options. Perhaps Jamie didn’t feel about her the way she felt about him. Even so, she had to tell him that she’d started to feel something, even if she didn’t know just what that was. Rather than go home, she drove to Jamie’s flat.
When she arrived, she’d half expected Jamie to be waiting at the door. A psychic was supposed to know the future, and he’d seemed to always know when she’d be popping by for a visit. But this time, he didn’t answer the door. Neither did Murtagh. She turned the knob and it swung open on silent hinges and her heart sank.
Furniture was still scattered in the rooms, but the personal items were gone: Murtagh’s tea set, the photos on the walls, the collections of books. It wasn’t possible. They couldn’t have disappeared that quickly, could they?
“Jamie?” she called, knowing full well the entire building was empty. “Murtagh? It’s Claire. Claire Beauchamp?”
Her heart started beating again, surging with agony. The last time she’d seen his face couldn’t be the last time. Charging through the flat, she searched every room. Eventually, she would have to accept that Jamie was gone.
“No,” she said, half to herself, half to the missing Fraser men. “If he’d meant what he said, he wouldn’t have given me that bloody book. That’s not how you give closure.”
Digging the cell phone from her pocket, she dialed his number. All she got in return was a recorded message saying the number had been disconnected. Closing her eyes, Claire tried to calm her rising panic. Two men couldn’t just vanish at the drop of a hat. The sort of preparations Murtagh had set up here took time, and there was no way he’d keep two flats. That meant they’d have to hide out somewhere until a new place could be arranged.
But if the military hadn’t been able to find him, what hope did she have? Then it dawned on her. She had something the military didn’t have. Information. She had the full Fraser clan history, specifically Jamie’s story. Murtagh had told her Jamie’s sister Jenny was still alive, living with her husband at…
Desperate to recall the name of the place, Claire paced up and down the hall. Broch. It had had broch in the name. But what was it? Half of Scotland had ‘broch’ in the name somewhere.
“Lallybroch!” she yelped suddenly, the name flashing through her mind. “Now where the hell is Lallybroch?”
Determined to reach the end of this mystery, Claire drove home with the intent to do research. Geillis was home, painting her toenails with a deep emerald color.
“Hello there,” she said sweetly before blowing on the wet paint. “And where have you been all afternoon?”
She’d been lying to Geillis for so long about Jamie to help keep him safe, but what was she supposed to say now?
“I, um… Well, I broke things off with Frank.”
“Thank GOD! I thought you’d be stuck with him forever! Oh! We should go out to the pub tonight!”
Claire’s eyes rolled hard.
“No, Geillis. I’m not going out ‘hunting’ tonight. I have some things I need to do.”
Eyes the same color as the nailpolish watched Claire disappear into her room. Pulling her laptop out of it’s bag, Claire opened up Google and started typing. She didn’t care if it took her all night. She would find Lallybroch.
When all variations on ‘Lallybroch’ didn’t turn up very much information, Claire decided to try calling one of the tourism companies in Scotland.
“Hello, thank ye for calling Heart of Scotland Tours. My name is Cynthia, how can I help ye?”
“Hello Cynthia. I’m trying to find a place in Scotland, but I’m afraid my internet searching hasn’t been very fruitful. I’m not looking to book a tour, but I’m hoping you can help me.”
Claire heard a few clicks on a keyboard.
“Och of course! What is it ye’re lookin’ for then, Claire?”
“The only name I have is a place called Lallybroch. I don’t know more than that.”
She knew the Fraser family had been attached to Lallybroch for generations, but Claire was reluctant to give that information up.
“Oh aye! That estate is up near Broch Morda, ken? It’s a verra old place, but I’m afraid they dinna allow tours of the place. I’ve tried to talk them into it, but they willna allow it. It has so much history, it would be a lovely place to have tours, but…”
“Broch… Morda,” Claire said quietly, scribbling the name down on a piece of paper. “Thank you very much, Cynthia.”
“Aye, anytime lass.”
Claire hung up and began searching for Broch Morda.
Dougal turned off the radio in his car. So that was where the lad had run. Finally, his patience was being rewarded.
Claire went to work the next day, desperate for distraction. Despite everything in her personal life breaking into chaos, work was the one thing she could count on to be consistent. Well… sort of.
“Claire, I need your help in room 7 please!”
Jogging down the hall, she pushed into the room and got to work helping Joe Abernathy. They worked side by side like a well oiled machine. With their job done and their patient breathing easily, Joe smiled at her.
“Wanna grab a cup of coffee, LJ?”
But she didn’t hear him. Her mind was filled with images of Lallybroch, the little red pin on the map on her computer screen.
“What’s up, Lady Jane,” Joe asked again, nudging her shoulder.
“I don’t know what to do,” she breathed.
Steering her to the break room, he sat her down and put a cup of coffee in front of her.
“What to do about what?” he asked softly.
She stared down at the dark liquid. One finger traced the rim of the cup over and over, her mind drifting.
Jamie had said he didn’t want to see her ever again. But then he’d given her the Fraser history book. His actions and his words were in conflict.
“Claire, if you don’t tell me what’s got steam comin’ out your ears, I’m gonna have to dump that coffee in your lap.”
“Joe, what if I’ve made a mistake? What if-”
“Start at the beginning, LJ, or this won’t make a lick of sense.”
So she did, telling him as much as she dared about Jamie. Joe slammed his empty coffee cup down on the table when she finished with the standing stones.
“That bastard had the balls to say that to you?”
“What if he was trying to protect me? Doing what he thought was right?”
“What if he was? Does that change anything?”
Did it? She didn’t know how to answer him.
“Do you know where he is?”
“No. I went back to his flat but it was empty.”
“Here’s the important question. Do you want to find him again? Or just leave things as they are?”
When she’d thought about it, she knew she had to see Jamie again. Living without him was too painful to bear. She’d done all the research to find Lallybroch, the only connection to Jamie she had left, save the book. Then again…
Too many people that she’d loved had been taken from her. Those holes in her heart would never heal, not fully. To admit to herself that she’d developed feelings for Jamie opened her up to that kind of pain again. She wasn’t sure she could survive it another time.
“Is it even worth it, Joe?”
“You didn’t know me before I married Gail,” he said, smiling at the thought of his wife. “But I was a bit like you, gunshy. I wouldn’t trade her for the world, or any of the experiences we’ve had. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth the risk.”
Looking up at him, she met his warm brown eyes.
“So… I should find him?”
“I can’t answer that for you, LJ. But I think you already know what you want.”
A moment ago, she’d felt on the verge of crying, her throat feeling tight. Now, she had the urge to leap to her feet and whoop.
“Gail’s a lucky woman,” she said, finally taking a sip of her coffee.
“That she is. And it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve seen that spark in your eye. You go and get him, Lady Jane.”
Trying to keep the smile from her lips, she continued drinking her coffee.
When Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser had told Jamie that he had a ‘temporary place for us to hide out’, Jamie hadn’t thought it was the cave on the edge of the Lallybroch property. Yet here he was, sitting on a mat in the recesses of the earth.
Having no one to talk to, nothing to distract him, his mind wandered. The last thing he wanted was to let it go free, but he had little choice. He knew what he would see when he closed his eyes - the look on Claire’s face when he’d told her he didn’t want to see her anymore. Christ, that had felt like tearing out his own heart.
If he focused hard enough, he could still feel her body molded against his, warm and soft in all the right places. Before he knew it, tears were sliding down his cheeks.
“Are ye decent?”
Jamie jumped, not expecting any visitors in his isolation.
Then his older sister Jenny appeared from the hidden opening of the cave. This was the first time he’d seen her in over two years and she looked happy.
“God, Jenny,” he choked out before falling into her arms and hugging her tight.
She was crying too, he could feel the moisture soaking through his shirt, but he wouldn’t let go.
“I could hear ye thinkin’ halfway down the hill,” she whispered. “Jamie, what have ye done now?”
“I had to, Jenny. I couldna let her come to harm.”
He’d learned a long time ago how to have a half conversation with her. With a Gift like hers, he almost didn’t need to speak at all, but he couldn’t hear thoughts like she could. Speaking was still at least a little necessary.
“Aye, I ken, brother. Come and tell me about her, aye?”
“Jenny, ye kent what I was thinking before ye even got in here.”
She shrugged and sat down on the mat he’d gotten up from.
“Aye, that’s true. But I like to hear ye talk. It’s been so long.”
Reluctantly, he eased himself down beside her. Jenny wasn’t as big as he was, she’d taken after their father more. She gave him a few moments to collect himself before nudging him in the side, right where he was ticklish.
“Her name is Claire Beauchamp,” he started.
By the time he’d finished, she’d gotten the whole story out of him, even if he hadn’t spoken all of it out loud. With her, he didn’t have to be anything other than who he was. Jenny never expected anything from him but the truth, and she always stood by his side. He’d missed her terribly in the last two years.
“I ken why ye felt ye had to, Jamie, but… Ye need her Gift.”
“Aye, I ken. But I canna… Jenny, would ye want Ian to stay wi’ ye because he feared ye’d die otherwise? That’s what it would be if I asked Claire to say and be a healer for me. I canna ask that of her.”
Jenny sighed and rested her head on his shoulder. It was something she’d done since he’d gotten taller than her and she continued to do it whenever he was back.
“I have to ask,” she said quietly.
“No. I still canna see yours or Ian’s futures. Or any bairns ye might have.”
“I thought not. It’s nice at the house, wi’ just him. We can talk and no’ hide anything. I dinna have to pretend that I didna ken the punchline of his jokes because I truly dinna ken. It’s damned annoying, sometimes.”
“Ian’s no’ that funny.”
“Aye, he isna. But he likes when I laugh at his jokes. And I like when he smiles.”
“I’m happy for ye, Jenny. He’s a good man for ye. I’m glad ye have someone here to watch ye since I canna do it. I feel better when I ken you’re safe.”
Jenny shot him a flat look and smacked the back of his head.
“Oh, I can fend for myself. Dinna forget that, brother,” she said with a familiar edge.
“That ye can. But it’s nice no’ to have to go it alone, aye?”
She nodded and sighed.
“Aye, it is. I should get back to him or he’ll be worriet sick. Murtagh wasna sure how long it would take before he could get ye moved somewhere else. I’m sorry Jamie. I’ll try to come up again tomorrow night and make sure ye dinna need anything.”
“Thank ye, Jenny. I ken this is dangerous for ye as well. Tell Ian I said thanks.”
“Aye, I will. I’ll make sure to leave food for ye in the kitchen. If ye come down to the house and ye need to hide quick, remember the priest’s hole. I’ll no’ have my only brother carted off never to be seen again.”
Jamie hugged her again, tightly.
Then Jenny got up and disappeared through the cave entrance. Talking with her about Claire had helped ease his mind a little, but his chest still felt like it had a hole in it. When his eyes closed, he almost began drawing on his power to See Claire, just once more. No. He had to let her go, let her be with Frank and forget about him. Maybe someday that thought wouldn’t hurt so much.