colum mackenzie

10

I’m honored… to be entrusted with the care of yer son. But Dougal speaks true. I will use every option in my power to defeat the British, and that includes raising the MacKenzie banner. I do not doubt yer fighting spirit, but I know that you will not sacrifice your men needlessly. If the cause is lost, then you will put the lives of yer men above all else.
requested by @lifeasbritney

10

Outlander  → 1.04 The Gathering 

“The Victory Day celebrations in London and Paris far exceeded the gathering of the Mackenzie Clan in terms of sheer size, but this was something different. Simple joy, unencumbered by the trauma of war, or the exhaustion of its end. The Mackenzies were simply glad to see one another. Despite my eagerness to leave, my heart lifted whenever I walked trough the encampment and a small part of me regretted my imminent escape.”

sly as foxes in the field

Jamie fears that of his two MacKenzie uncles, he is more like Dougal - violent, blunt, ruthless. Only focusing on the here and now. And he certainly is, at times - after all, Dougal taught him to fight.

But I think he is much more like Colum - methodical, calculated, intelligent. Always thinking six steps ahead. Managing all of the people around him. Thinking about the long game.


“You champion me, and you exile me, both at the same time. That’s a plan worthy of my brother Colum.”

– Dougal MacKenzie, 02x10 “Prestonpans”


“Do you know, you sound quite like your uncle Colum. He would have thought it through like that.”  

      “Do I?” The corner of his mouth turned up slightly. “Shall I take that as compliment, Sassenach?”  

      “I suppose you might as well.”  

      “Aye, well,” he said thoughtfully.

– A Breath of Snow and Ashes

10

Outlander  → 1.02 Castle Leoch 

“I did know something of this era. The politics, the people, their dress. Even some of the customs and colloquialisms were familiar. But it was all secondhand knowledge, acquired from books, museums, paintings. It was like landing on an alien world you’d only glimpsed through a telescope. But then you begin to wonder if maybe life on this alien world is not so different after all.”

anonymous asked:

I find it interesting that Colum asked Claire to help relieve his pain, and not just ask the healer back at Leoch. What are your thoughts about it?

I assume you’re referring to 02x12 “The Hail Mary.” Well, I can think of several reasons:

1. He knows that Claire is far more skilled and will likely give him a treatment that actually works

2. He uses it as a pretext to get time alone with her

3. She doesn’t work for him. She would tell him like it is - she’s not looking to flatter him. So she will be honest and speak the truth - and her mind. That must be so refreshing to a man like Colum

4. He is looking for a way to put himself out of his pain. And he knows Claire well enough to know that he could express such a wish to her - and that she not only would listen to him, she wouldn’t judge him, and she would do exactly what he wished. No questions asked.

I do think that Colum comes to deeply respect Claire over time - not just as a skilled healer, but as a profoundly intelligent, pragmatic, and quick-thinking person. A perfect match for his nephew. And - from what we gather based on secondhand descriptions of her personality - someone who shares a lot in common with Colum’s beloved elder sister, Jamie’s mother Ellen.

And let’s not forget what Alec tells Claire in Book 1:

“Colum is no the man to let an opportunity pass by him. He’s quick, and he’s ruthless, is Colum…Ye’d be wise to bear that in mind, lassie.”

When else would he have an opportunity to size up Jamie - know that he was leaving Hamish in good hands - and have access to a healer who actually knew what she was doing?

Hail Mary, Part VIII

Premise: What if Jamie and Claire had 1) been more openly affectionate in those early days, and 2) not *had* to get married?

Part I  Part II  Part III Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII



“Betrothed,” Jamie rasped as the clockwork wheels thudded into place in his mind. 

The Grants.

The delegation of Grants that Colum had been—

Colum nodded, smiling calmly, but his eyes were still narrowed in razor-sharp suspicion. “All settled, save the vows, and that comes tomorrow.” 

TOMORROW.

Colum had arranged for—

Fury. Raging, blistering fury tore through Jamie, and he had to grip the arm of his chair to keep from letting it explode from him. “Might I ask, uncle,” he said, with what he hoped was a good approximation of cordiality, “why ye didna think to seek my counsel on this before matters were ‘settled.’”  

The laird paused only a moment before answering, cool and collected. “Ye should be thanking me, wee Jamie. This is a good match. An important match.” 

“Important enough that it didna occur to ye to even ask my leave before selecting a wife for me?” Jamie tried to keep his voice steady but the waves of anger lurked barely below the surface. “Before determining the course of the remainder of my life?”

Colum’s words were still quiet, but as sharp as a knife blade through the still of the room. “You’re to be laird, Sheumais MacBrian. If it’s the remainder of your life, it’s the next life of the clan as well. As future leader of the MacKenzies, your life is not your own, anymore.”

Jamie snapped. 

“I’ve no intention to be laird, and my life is no one’s save my own, God’s, and those who have claim to my protection. I came here today only to inform ye that I’ve proposed marriage to Claire Beauchamp and she’s accepted.”

The silence before Colum spoke was excruciating. “Explain yourself,” he said delicately. “…boy.” 

“’Boy,’ it is?” Jamie couldn’t help a wry, scornful laugh. “A moment ago, I’m to be laird, and now –“

“And now,” Colum interrupted, his voice still alarmingly controlled, but the eyes showing the fire about to pour forth, “like a child, you’ll answer to your elders for your actions.”

Jamie bit back a retort that would certainly have sounded childish, and instead chose to remain silent.

Colum’s eyebrows were knitted hard. “She’s wi’ child, then?”  

“No! Christ—God in Heaven, no!” Jamie’s shock and embarrassment made his voice squeak like a wee lad. “I’ve no’ lain wi’ her. I swear it on my mother’s grave,” he said more sharply. 

“Doesna matter to me if you’ve swived a hundred lassies,” Colum said. “What matters is that ye deliberately deceived me here in this room three weeks ago in implying that your allegiance to the clan outweighed any liaison between you and Mistress Beauchamp.”  

Jamie couldn’t remain stoic in the face of Colum’s quietly seething wrath. “Aye, I did deceive ye, uncle, though wi’ no malice in my heart. See, it—” He took a deep breath. Everything, then. “I said those words in anger, but the feelings between Mistress Beauchamp and me are mutual, and have been growing for some time. On the road wi’ the rent party, we had a misunderstanding, and she left—then had a change of heart and chose to come back to see if the two of us might set things right. My heart was hard against her, that day here in the study wi’ Dougal, as you certainly will have seen, and I said what I did only so you and Dougal would understand the true reason why she left, and that there was no cause to suspect her of treachery.” He met his uncle’s eye directly. “But two days ago, Claire and I did set things right—more than right—and she agreed to become my wife.”

Colum nodded and reached for a quill. “An agreement that can easily be broken.”

Jesus, the calm and heartlessness of that statement. He all but snarled at his uncle,  “Absolutely not.”

“We’ll provide her wi’ a pension, if we must, to see that she’s—”

“No.” He was practically shouting, barely able to keep his seat. “I love her, uncle. I love Claire—and I came to speak wi’ ye today to tell ye so, and tell ye of my intention to marry her. I had no inkling of your designs for an alliance wi’ the Grants, and I’m sorry for the ill timing, but I’d never have consented even if Mistress Beauchamp were no’ involved. I’ll not be swayed—not for any price.”

Colum’s steely calm snapped and he snarled, leaning forward, white with rage, his finger pointed in accusation at Jamie’s face. “I got you your freedom—”

“Uncle, ye must—”

“—saved you from the noose, from rotting in prison,” he snarled, shaking his head slowly, like a beast about to charge, “and this, THIS is how ye repay me?”

“And I’m verra grateful,” Jamie said, marshaling his voice into calm, “but I didna—”

“Did ye think that I would risk my neck and clan and name only out of the goodness of my heart? Did ye think there would be no obligation expected of ye in return, boy?”

“If I deigned to presume,” Jamie hissed between teeth clenched so hard as to be painful, “the love for your own flesh and blood was enough to prompt such a kind deed, I do most humbly beg your pardon.”

“Love without duty is pure fancy,” Colum said bluntly. “Which is why ye will not be marrying Mistress Beauchamp.”

“I will be. You have my word on it.”

Colum’s mouth quirked up into a wry smile, the steely calm controlling his features once more. “Ye truly think ye can do this to me again wi’ no consequences?”

Again?” Jamie laughed mirthlessly. “To my knowledge, I’ve never turned down a marriage arrangement from ye before.”

“But your mother did.”

Jamie stepped back and pressed his lips together. Jesus, he hadn’t stopped to think on it, but she’d—

“Aye, you’ll ken the story,” Colum said, his eyes alight with a near-maniacal gleam. “Betrothed to one Malcolm Grant, and then up and decides she’d prefer to sneak off and swive in the heather wi’ your bastard father. And what your *bastard* father may not have told you bairns round the fireside—“

“Do NOT use that word in my presence.”

“—is that her actions, her heedlessness and SELFISHNESS nearly started an all-out war wi’ the Grants.” Colum thudded his fist onto the table. “This alliance is the reparation for that VERY slight, boy, and an end to the thirty years of bad blood between our clans that came of it. All that and more will be mended when you join wi’ Malcolm Grant’s daughter. I’ll no’ have it ruined because some Sassenach happened to walk her fine arse in front of ye.”

Jamie was already on his feet and gripping his dirk before realizing what he was doing. Colum’s look was defiant, as though daring Jamie to make him summon the guards. He couldn’t very well fight for Claire in a dungeon cell, and they both knew it fine.

Jamie clenched his hands behind his back and stared down at the MacKenzie across the wide desk. “If the marriage alliance was of such great importance, and ye esteem my leadership highly enough to have wished me to be laird one day, then ye ought to have spoken to me of Miss Grant previously, and no’ just have assumed I’d agree to throw my life away by wedding a stranger.” Jamie’s voice was calm. “But it doesn’t matter. I’m no’ your son, Colum; nor am I your logical successor, nor a ward, that ye might command me to bow to your will. I canna take responsibility for the choices of my departed mother—” Colum scoffed, and Jamie raised his voice, “—NOR will I be bound by an obligation I learned of scarce FIVE MINUTES ago. I SHALL go to Lallybroch with Mistress Beauchamp, where I’ll make her my wife and nothing you or Dougal can say shall—”

“Then it’s a good thing I sent word to the English garrison yesterday.”

Jamie’s blood froze. “What?”

Colum steepled his fingers, such a casual gesture Jamie wanted to reach across the desk and throttle him. “Oh, aye. About our mysterious Mistress Beauchamp, indicating my suspicions as to her character and purpose on my lands, and asking that they come and collect her, she being an English citizen, after all.” 

How could ye— how could—?“ His words choked off in rage. Claire, dragged to Fort William. Claire, in the hands of that monster, Randall. “How could ye have done such a thing, uncle?”

“Claire Beauchamp is nothing to me, to this clan, to you, save a liability. And while ye may not be my son, ye pledged me an oath, and you’ll honor it by arriving in the great hall tomorrow noon to make the formal oath to your betrothed in front of her father and the clans so that the wedding plans might commence, else…” He trailed off, leaving Jamie to imagine what the consequences for disobedience might be.

It hadn’t been an oath that Jamie swore those weeks ago, and Colum MacKenzie knew it just fine. A pledge to obey while on MacKenzie lands: Colum KNEW it was no more than that, and yet here he was, manipulating Jamie with such precision, to have him bound and trussed with no more than a word. Christ, that he should ever have been thought fit to take over the clan from this conniving man.

“Promise me you’ll not turn her over to the English,” Jamie demanded, his head was spinning. “Swear to me that you’ll send another message, telling them it was a misunderstanding— that Mistress Beauchamp is no longer under suspicion.”

Colum considered, then nodded. “I’ll send it by rider tomorrow. After you’ve made your formal vow to Edina.”

Jamie breathed. Just breathed, focusing on the filling of his chest. 

He rose and bowed to his uncle. 

“Then, I’ll abide by my word, my chieftain.”


Jamie was kissing me and it wasn’t a dream. Thank the bloody Lord: I’d had it up to here with dreaming. I reached up and twined my fingers in his hair, moving my hips up against him. He moaned into my mouth and slipped his hand under my head. When I grappled for him, though, he laughed and pulled back. “Oh Jesus fucking Christ, Jamie!” 

 He laughed again, landed one more good one, and then jumped off the bed.

I threw myself back hard onto the pillow. “You can’t just wake a girl up all sexy-like and then saunter off.” 

 “How’s about you saunter off along wi’ me?” 

His tone was playful, but there was an urgency in his movements that made me sit back up at once. “What do you mean?” 

He was moving across the room, gathering things into a satchel. “We must leave the castle— tonight.”

“We must—What???” But it all made sense: how I’d heard not a word from him since the garret, hadn’t seen him in the great hall. Something had happened in the session with Colum, and it wasn’t good.

 “I’m sorry for the suddenness, Sassenach, truly,” he said, placing the bag on the bed. “I’ll explain everything in full, I swear it, but we must leave, now.” 

Under his forced calm, I could sense the very real fear. “Jamie—are we in danger?” 

 “Aye.” 

 Honesty. The blatant, quiet honesty in him; yet another reason I felt so sure in him, in us. He would give his life to protect me, would tease and joke to put my mind at ease, but when directly asked, he would not lie to me. I’d lied to Jamie, I realized with a pang, but no more. There were no lies between us, nor secrets, and as ridiculous as it might have once seemed to me, I felt this man as an extension of my own mind. It was almost laughable, in fact, when he sat next to me on bed, a face on my palm and asked, “Do ye trust me?”

And I didn’t hesitate for a moment in replying. “Yes, I trust you.” 

He grinned. “And ye still wish to marry me, aye?” 

 *I* grinned. “Aye, I do, my bonny lad.” 

He kissed me. “Good. Then the greatest measure of our safety rests upon us being able to get off of MacKenzie lands. Only elsewhere am I in honor free of obedience to Colum. Only Colum’s no fool, so likely we’ll have to fight our way out of Leoch, this night.“ His control wavered, and for a moment, he looked truly distraught. “I’m sorry for putting this upon ye.”

“Just tell me what to do,” I said, running my hand down his face. “I trust you.” I kissed him back, though fear and exhilaration coursed through me. “And what’s the other measure?” 

The grin was back. “Making ye my wife as soon as humanly possible and taking ye to my bed to make things official.”

Taking the gift of his ease and humor against the fear of the night, I gave it back to him in kind, throwing up my hands in mock bewilderment. “How EVER will we bring ourselves to do it?”

He pulled a long-suffering kind of face as he pressed me rather scandalously back into the pillows. “‘Tis a grave task,” he said, nipping at the neck of my shift. “but I have a suspicion we’ll manage it somehow. Here,“ he said, dropping a pile of fabric at my shoulder, “put these breeks on and let’s get down to our business.“ 

Ah yes, just typical fighting-our-way-out-of-the-castle banter.

Keep reading