The restaurant was small and intimate, just the sort of place Claire would have chosen had she been picking a place for herself. Fiddling with the tablecloth, she couldn’t help but nervously toy with the squared fabric.
A tiny break in the university madness gave me a bit of a chance to write. If you’ve asked me for something, never fear…I am still going to honour them. Just when I have time to do them justice.
Slipping behind the largest trunk, Claire slunk closer to the debris at the base of the tree. She could hear Dougal and Jamie talking –animatedly. Jamie, it seemed, did not agree with his uncle on some matters pertaining to the earlier escapades with the locals and his eager need to tear the shirt from Jamie’s back at any God-given opportunity.
Claire didn’t blame him. Thinking about it made her blood boil and she had to grip the bark with some vigour in order to keep herself sat still and not go tearing down the hill towards Dougal herself.
Taking a deep breath, she leaned her head backwards, thinking instead of her own intimate matters. As much as she tried to force back the *affectionate* feelings that had begun to manifest themselves deep in her chest, the camaraderie she felt towards Jamie had bloomed. Claire found herself almost drawn to the Scot, her movements mimicking his in the strangest of ways. Her body was attuned to his.
How else had she found herself here? Close to him once more, eavesdropping on his conversation, not for the actual words, but just to be within close proximity of the man.
She was so consumed by these thoughts that she failed to notice Dougal stomp passed her, his long gait extended by his increased ire at his argumentative nephew. The crack of fallen branches pulled her from her reverie though, and she dipped lower, her shoulders hunching closer to the trunk in order to stay out of sight.
A distinct sound of gaelic curses rang out only moments later, causing Claire to jump a little. Turning onto her knees, she crawled over the roots and glanced down into the small valley beyond her hiding place.
Watching, she scrunched her eyes to see in the dark as Jamie, venting his frustration in the safest way possible, smacked his clenched fist against the closest tree. Claire, from where she knelt, could see the tense set of his shoulders as he pulled his arm back once more, his head falling forward as he pounded the rough bark.
His words, foreign to Claire’s ears, were almost unintelligible from this distance, and she climbed closer in order to get a better view. Arguing with herself, she decided it was best to let him get this pent up aggression out of his system before she showed herself.
“Ye can come out now,” Jamie spoke, his voice hushed as he turned a little. He could see her slumped behind the hillock, catching a brief movement out of the corner of his eye as he stood still facing away for the most part.
Standing and brushing herself off, Claire stumbled down the wee bank and brought herself to Jamie’s side.
Holding out her hand, she wiggled her fingers towards his blood-stained ones, not saying a word as she summoned his knuckles for inspection.
“You should be more careful, Mr MacTavish. You could easily pop the joint if you catch it wrong. Tree bark isn’t known for its gentle properties you know,” she teased as she turned his battered fingers over in her hand, examining the damage as carefully as she was able.
“Jamie, please mistress,” he whispered, nothing but humour in his tone, “…and trees are safe, Sassenach.”
Smiling, she tugged him over in the direction of the small fire he’d lit for himself and bid him to sit.
Pulling a small tin from her pocket, Claire reached for her small collection of medical supplies.
“Verra prepared, mistress Claire,” Jamie joked, quirking a brow at her stash. “Expecting to ha’ wounds to attend were ye?”
“Well,” Claire returned, too fast for Jamie to concoct a response, “if *you’re* involved –Jamie– there is bound to be physicking required.”
That silenced him, and he kept his mouth shut whilst Claire finished off cleansing his cuts and bandaging them to avoid the filth of the road.
Though large, Jamie’s hands weren’t callused. Working as he did with heavy tools, Claire had assumed differently, but as she twisted and turned them about, ensuring her handiwork would stand the test of their arduous journey, she realised that they were incredibly soft and mostly free from scars.
She recalled that first day in the stables at Leoch and his tales of outlawry. It was hard to imagine, with him here now in front of her, that he was wanted for murder. Looking up at him, she could see the firelight glint in his aqua eyes, the red/yellow tint shining in his vivid irises.
He had a kind face and a gentle touch. Nothing about him suggested violence or danger.
Licking her lips, she shifted her bottom, her knees slipping further apart as she leaned closer.
Unaware of her subtle movements, Jamie had almost completely closed his eyes now. Lulled by her rhythmic ministrations, he’d chosen blissful ignorance ahead of actively contemplating what he might like to do with Claire.
Her skin glowed in the flames, the pale ivory of her flesh catching the dim flickers as it illuminated her from behind. She was something –otherworldly.
Cracking, the fire spat out a stray piece of ash as it sparked and settled once more, shocking Claire as she shimmied closer to Jamie in an attempt to stay away from the burning debris. The action brought them nose and nose, and Claire held her breath as she tilted her head to the right, sliding the tip of her nose along the bridge of his.
He smelt…intoxicating. Whisky and woodsmoke lined his skin, the calm puffs of his breath wafting over her lips as she held herself steady.
She didn’t mean for it to happen, but the moment she felt his tongue peek out from behind his lips, darting out to moisten his dry skin, she was lost. Leaning forwards she took his mouth against hers, sucking his upper lip between her teeth as they moved together unconsciously.
Claire didn’t recall turning, but before she could pull herself away and apologise for her rash actions, she was on her back in the leaves, her legs parted as Jamie angled himself as close to her as he could get, tugging his kilt out of the way in the process.
Too late, she realised, as she pulled her skirts up, wrapping her feet around Jamie’s knees and urging him forward with her body.
Gasping, she opened her eyes as bare skin came into contact with bare skin, her head unable to comprehend the actions that had led them here. Jamie’s brow was scrunched tight, his eyes clenched as he fought not to simply thrust his hips forward and end this subtle dance. Claire could see it in his face, how much he ached to let go, how much he wanted to twist his hips and sheath himself deep inside her, but something was holding him back.
“Y-you haven’t…have you?” Claire stammered, the dull thud of her heart audible in her ears as she spoke, “you’ve never lain with a woman before.”
Shaking his head vehemently, Jamie pursed his lips together and rolled his arse in time with Claire, her thighs tightening around his hips as he felt the telltale dampness coat him.
Gasping, Claire rocked herself closer still, angling herself into the right position for him to simply slide himself upwards…
She waited, her heart picking up pace as she tried to stay as motionless as possible.
“It’s alright, Jamie,” she coaxed, pushing her shoulders against the cold ground to lever her upwards as she kissed him softly, her tongue lingering on his lips as she relaxed once more, “I want this…I want *you*.”
Pushing himself inside her, Jamie moaned, his whole body trembling as his will broke, her words shattering the carefully built wall that had kept him from destroying Claire’s fragile reputation.
Unable to think, he let his body guide him. Claire’s hand roamed over his shirt-clad back and down until she’d pulled his kilt up further. The cold air slid along his exposed legs, causing his arse to clench as she took one naked cheek in each palm and directed him.
Digging her heels into the sodden earth beneath her, Claire let her legs fall open wider, her knees almost touching the ground as she met Jamie’s movements. Pushing her groin against his over and over again, grinding herself against him to create as much friction as possible.
With one final groan, Jamie juddered, tensed and flopped against Claire, his energy spent as he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face against her neck.
Panting, Claire twined her legs with his as the tingling faded from her extremities.
Rendered insensible by the blinding lust that had just consumed them, both Claire and Jamie lapsed into unconsciousness, the chilly air unable to penetrate the heat their combined bodies had just created. Steam seemed to hang in the space around them as the fire dwindled, a fine mist encasing the now-sleeping lovers.
Coughing – loudly – Murtagh kicked Jamie’s filthy boots as he crossed his arms, his ire showing openly on his face.
“Ay! Laddie…wake up ye lazy dolt!”
Stunned by the sharp intonation of his godfather’s voice, Jamie hunched his shoulders to hide the shock he’d just received at being so rudely woken. Forgetting himself, his hands tightened on Claire’s shoulders, his sleep-hazed state making him feel as if she’d always been there, not remembering that she was a new addition to his nighttime routine.
Tugging the shawl around her half exposed shoulders, the colour drained from Claire’s face as the sudden realisation of her late night actions sunk in. Untangling herself from Jamie’s grasp, she sat up and slowly opened her eyes.
She prayed that only Murtagh stood before them, hoping beyond hope that she could convince the dour Scotsman to turn a blind eye to her less than reputable actions. But luck wasn’t on her side.
“I see our feral cat has some…impressionable skill at leading men astray,” Dougal muttered, his tone dripping with derision.
Claire could picture the look on his face without having to see it, but she was no coward. Opening her eyes fully, she rolled her shoulders back and clenched her teeth together to avoid saying something cutting in return.
Jamie remained silent too, his hands grappling to find hers as he rubbed some manner of warmth back into her digits, calming her as he did so.
“Uncle,” he began, an air of warning to his tone, “dinna go throwing insults around, aye?”
Scoffing, Dougal twisted the knife in his palm, using its sharp point to balance it precariously in the centre of his hand. “What else would ye have me call it,” he mocked, his eyes narrowing to slits as he began pacing in front of them.
Murtagh remained quiet now, his focus solely on Jamie as he tried to block out the view he’d had of the intimate moment between Jamie and Claire. Not meaning to catch them in the act, he’d come searching for his godson only moments after Claire had. Knowing the lad probably needed some alone time, he’d waited for just a wee bit longer than normal before heading off after him.
He’d had time to think as he’d clambered away from the scene, eager not to hear any more of their amorous activities. Desperate to keep the others in the rent party away, Murtagh had occupied the group with bawdy songs and whisky until most had passed out drunk.
Dougal, however, saw through the act. Noticing that Jamie hadn’t returned and that Claire had seemingly vanished, he’d bided his time before creeping off in search of the pair of them.
Finding them curled up, asleep by the fire he’d watched Jamie stoke earlier, a devious smile had lit his face and he’d snuck back off to contemplate his next move.
“Weel, tis of no matter,” Dougal continued, smirking as Jamie’s face turned a lurid red. Claire gulped loudly, her pulse throbbing painfully as her throat felt like it might close. She could tell from the devious look on Dougal’s face that this wouldn’t end well.
“No matter?” Jamie spat out, incensed by his uncle’s games.
“Aye, my boy. Ye ken the way of it. If you canna keep yer legs closed there are consequences.”
“Don’t you dare–” Claire began, her embarrassment completely fizzling now. Replaced, instead, with white-hot burning rage.
“Och, I *dare*,” Dougal sneered, interrupting her diatribe, “mistress Beauchamp. If you canna contain yerselves, then you will have to be marrit. Do I make myself clear?”
Claire’s eyes widened, her heart stuttering in her chest as the words found purchase in the air around them.
How could she…?
She was *already* married.
Jamie’s hand tightened on hers, the warmth of it silently soothing her frayed nerves.
“Am I…? No. I amne. We dinna ken fer sure, but he’s lain wi’ her now, she could be with child. It has been known. Do you wish her to be kent as a hoor, spoilt goods for anyone to take a wee keek at?” Dougal glowered, his advantage hard pressed to be beat.
Even Murtagh couldn’t disagree with his assessment of the situation.
“Married…” Claire murmured, her voice sending warm shivers down Jamie’s spine as he brought her closer to his side. The shuffling of the leaves around them made Claire blink as she turned to stare at her husband-to-be. “Jamie, I-”
“Hush, Sassenach,” he interjected, quashing her apology before she could voice it. “I promised I’d look out for you at Leoch, didn’t I?” he reminded her, his kind eyes holding hers as she nodded in reply. “And that hasne changed between here and there.”
Turning back to Dougal and Murtagh, Jamie clasped his hand around Claire’s back and brought them both to their feet. “Aye, uncle,” he agreed, holding his hand out as if to cement the *arrangement*, “but I have three conditions…if we’re t’ be wed.”
Laughing, Dougal shook his head, running his hand over the peak of his forehead, “T’would be easier to just kill ye both!” He jeered, a tiny hint of promise in his tone.
“That is as maybe,” Jamie returned, an equally dark hint to his voice as he gently drew patterns over Claire’s back, “but much harder to explain, wouldn’t you agree?”
Spitting a mouthful of saliva at his feet, Dougal blinked slowly and turned from the pair, stomping off once more in the direction of Rupert and the others.
Claire exhaled, her lungs pulsating from holding in the oxygen for so long. Leaning her head against Jamie’s shoulder she made to apologise once more, only finding herself incapable of speech, decided instead to forego it in favour of clenching his hand softly in hers.
Sensing her meaning, Jamie kept her close, turning them both in Murtagh’s direction as they awaited his reaction.
Quirking a bushy brow, Claire saw his lips twitch beneath his thick beard as he reached forward and smacked Jamie, his fingers catching Jamie’s thick curls, the smack echoing through the trees surrounding them.
“Foolish boy…” he spat, keeping his voice low as he went from anger to acceptance in two words, “it’s a dangerous game yer playing here. Ye ken well how changeable Dougal can be. How easy his moods slip from playful caution to deadly.”
Shrugging off Murtagh’s warning, Jamie sighed and kissed Claire on the forehead. “Then maybe it’s best if we’re wed quickly, aye?” He replied, walking himself and Claire in the direction of the camp.
Murtagh hovered behind them for just a moment, scratching his head as he watched the pair walk away, seeing the strange closeness they’d come to accept in just one short evening. “Aye,” he mumbled. “I guess ye had.”
“In a church!” Jamie yelled, his head turned towards Murtagh, a coy smile lighting his face, “afore a priest.”
“Teach me your ways, oh you sad and lonely rocks. Teach me your truths, pillars of fire and of salt. Teach me your stories, oh barren fields and flooded plains. Teach me your strength, you untameable seas. Teach me, that I may learn. Teach me, so I may join you rightly.” -Author Unknown
Ford was not a man of patience.
He was used to fighting for his answers, fighting for his spot, fighting for his right to know. He was used to struggling non-stop, used to putting off mundane things like sleeping or eating or bathing to continue working towards his goal. There was no time to be patient. No time to wait for a second opinion. No time to waste on silly useless safety protocols. He was a man on a mission, and he would not be deterred.
Which is why, sitting in an empty temple on a mountain top in a strange dimension full of peace, he felt so foreign.
The surgery four days ago had been a difficult one (not that Ford would have known it at the time, being thoroughly unconscious, but he had a vague knowledge going in as to its dangers) and recovery, though quick, was not as quick as Ford would have liked. His fingers drummed on the stones beneath him as he uncrossed his legs and sighed, stretching forward and popping his spine and stiff shoulders gently. Meditating had been Jheselbraum’s idea, a time of reflection she said he needed and deserved after so long on the run. It also meant that he would be inactive and less likely to damage his healing wounds, but that was left unspoken.
Ford sighed again, leaning forward until he was sprawled on the glimmering purple flagstones. The entire temple was hewn from stone of every color, softly blending into the mountainside around them and the pale clouds that hung constantly about the peak. Time rolled on sluggishly, and Ford let his mind wander. It chose to contemplate the activity he was currently engaged in.
Mediating was a good thing for him, he would admit. It allowed him to refocus on his purpose and goal - to defeat Bill and see an end to his reign of terror - and it allowed him peaceful breathing space to really contemplate his options of achieving his goal. It also gave him time to reflect on some of the wonders of the past dimensions he had visited, and the friends and acquaintances and discoveries he had made along the way.
Unfortunately, the time and space to wander around his own mind also allowed him to ruminate on the more unsavory things in his past. He reflected on the photo in his pocket and the whispers of promises and connections long dead. He reflected on old wars and scars and the stench of battle on distant worlds. He reflected on sleepless nights in college and in the Portal and in the Shack and the reasons for each. He reflected on the past, in the hopes of better seeing the future.
Jheselbraum brought him hot tea and wafers made with honey, and still Ford meditated, his dissatisfaction with the endeavor finally easing away as he dove deeper into his inner contemplation and the relaxation it effected on his person.
keith and shiro, chilling for some down time, enjoying a delivered pizza, keith: … takashi. shiro: yeah? keith: … you ordered drinks right shiro: … keith: … shiro: … and cheesy sticks keith, internally: i’m gonna have his adopted babies
Could we get another installment of The Getaway please?
Any plans to continue The Getaway?
Wrapping her large scarf around her neck, Claire waited in the draughty bus station walking from end to end as she tried to decipher the local routes. Hungry and cold, it’d been just over two days of heavy travelling and the extended journey was beginning to take its toll on poor Claire.
Act during masculine (Yang) moons, and react during feminine (Yin) moons. Yang is for doing, Yin is for being; mimic the tide by rolling in with the masculine phases & receding with the feminine phases. Go with the flow.
NEW MOON | Yang Instinct, force, intention, initiation, projection, will, wishes, new ideas, birth, spontaneity, risk, hope, impulse, inspiration, beginnings. This is a time for brainstorming and starting new projects, but resist the urge to jump in head-first because this phase can be dark & murky – it is the very beginning of the cycle and there’s likely to be truths that have not yet been illuminated. Instead of wasting your energy on potential accidents or mistakes, channel it into plans & desires that you can follow through with at a more appropriate time.
Most comfortable for Aries, Sagittarius, and Capricorn moons.
CRESCENT MOON | Yin Observation, activation, relaxation, contemplation, collection, inspection, reflection, appreciation, perception, intuition, interpretation. This is a time for pausing to analyze the facts and reflect on the known information. Intuition is your main tool during this phase; feel your way through the shadows – begin to understand what they’re made of with patience & self-control. Attract rather than seek. The moon is still young as a Crescent, so settling, acceptance, decisions, and finality should be avoided. Reach, but don’t grasp.
Most comfortable for Pisces and Scorpio moons.
FIRST QUARTER MOON | Yang Preparation, support, clearing, unblocking, building, direction, adjustment, solving, answering, advancement, progress, improvement. This is a time to work out the kinks in your plan, desire, or intention now that you have become intimate with its essence. Eradicate the flaws to make room for new, better methods or routes. Use this phase to build upon your current course and prepare for the favorable end result in a productive way. Make the necessary steps toward completion; don’t rush, and don’t worry about the details just yet.
Most comfortable for Gemini and Virgo moons.
GIBBOUS MOON | Yin Integration, acceptance, tolerance, openness, maturity, insight, organization, connection, correspondence, cooperation, patience. This is a time for buckling up & enjoying the ride. Continue to allow your energy to flow into your plan, desire, or intention, but relax knowing that it has been set into motion. Spend this phase reflecting on the ideal course of action, and remain hopeful but realistic in your mindset. Align your expectations with the current likelihood.
Most comfortable for Taurus moons.
FULL MOON | Yang Culmination, amalgamation, climax, full awareness, insight, manifestation, finality, completion, momentum, truth, answers. Your plan, desire, or intention has been fully initiated & followed through to this moment, the perfect opportunity for full force, definite action – this is where the process completes itself & all the truth comes out. Every detail is available to you now; everything is ready; everything is illuminated & conscious. The results will reveal themselves & you will know whether it is a success or a failure.
Most comfortable for Leo and Aquarius moons.
DISSEMINATING MOON | Yin Gratitude or disappointment, new hope or resignation, contentment or complacency, satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The results are manifesting independently of you & action on your part is no longer necessary. This is the time to be grateful for the fruition, to recollect yourself, to come to terms with whatever consequences, and to accept the outcome of the process. Inner peace and/or conviction must be achieved before the next phase.
Most comfortable for Libra and Pisces moons.
THIRD QUARTER MOON | Yang Fairness, bargain, repayment, showing gratitude, making up for mistakes, correction, elimination, readjustment, cleansing, making way. This is a time for giving back what you have been given & balancing the gifts/rewards (or unfavorable circumstances) between forces. Settle the score & clean up the lingering energies to clear a path for the next lunar cycle. Regroup, review, recalculate, do not dwell. Begin preparation for the next New Moon.
Most comfortable for Libra, Scorpio, and Taurus moons.
BALSAMIC MOON | Yin Reflection, rest, restoration, recharging, incubation, closure, surrender, moving on, putting everything to rest. This is the time for letting go & allowing energies to return to you so you’ll be able to use them in the next lunar cycle. This is a perfect time for meditation; there is no need for any action or deep analysis at this point, this is the very end, where everything is meant to be quiet and peaceful. Calm yourself – your soul, body, heart, & mind – and just be.
Most comfortable for Pisces moons.
All lunar phases are comfortable for Cancer moons.
Applies to natal moons, lunar transits, & natal moons during lunar transits.
Imagine that Jamie and Claire had only met later in life, when they're both divorced or widowed
Renewed: This is set in, on, or around the 1960′s. Jamie is 40 and Claire is 45.
— – —
She came in everyday, sometimes with a colleague or too, usually alone, but always there. He would sit, his back to the window, disinterested in the random hoipolloi that wandered the streets of Glasgow in the early hours, observing only her.
She was a doctor, he surmised, from the scrubs she occasionally wore. Probably a surgeon. He’d had the unfortunate pleasure of being introduced to some of the staff during some odd printing accidents. The surgeons had worn blue, he’d noticed. She’d only worn them once, but once was enough.
Smart then, he concluded. And beautiful with it.
He’d been coming to this particular cafe ever since his move to the city, two years previous. It was a comfort more than anything, a place that smelt faintly like his sister, Jenny’s, kitchen.
Here he could pretend he wasn’t alone.
The plumes of coffee wafted through the air, filling his senses as he sat and read his crisp newspaper. He’d printed the broadsheet himself, a perk of the job.
He wasn’t sure how long she’d been coming here, but it could have been her sanctuary long before his. Either way, she wore a wedding ring, a large gold band that she twirled unconsciously as she waited in line. It was almost as if she knew he was watching, waiting. A sign that she was not to be touched.
That didn’t stop him from wishing.
Two whole years.
It struck him, in that moment, how perverse it seemed. He hadn’t originally intended to become a voyeur, but loneliness does strange things to a person.
He, himself, had never been married. He’d come close once, but in the end he knew it wasn’t right and had said as much. Jenny had been incredibly angry with him, having worked hard to set up the union, but something inside him had rallied. She was not the girl for him, and he shouldn’t marry her.
And he hadn’t.
Now, at just over forty years of age, he was sure he’d found her. But in a twist of fate, she wasn’t free for him to pursue her.
Karma, he thought, was not his friend.
“Just a shot of espresso, please.” Her voice carried across the mostly deserted cafe, the sweet dulcet tones warming him faster than his steaming drink.
It’s of no matter, he reasoned, most women his age were taken. He shouldn’t have hoped for anything different.
Why she’d chosen that day, she didn’t really know. The ring had been a prop for just over a year, a ploy to keep the handsy male staff members away. If they’d known her and Frank had separated –well, it was an unfortunate fact that the doctors and the surgeons had a pool on the single females members of staff.
She *would not* end up on that list.
Being a tenured MD gave her certain privileges, it meant she worked the shifts she wanted, with the staff *she* requested.
She liked nights, finishing before the sun rose meant she could meander the city whilst most people still slept.
*He* didn’t seem to sleep, she liked that. She liked that he was always sat in the cafe in the wee hours of the morning, nursing his hot chocolate and pouring over the business sections.
But still, she hadn’t built the courage to speak to him. She knew he watched her, that he contemplated talking to her but never had. She knew that was all down to her.
At first *she was* married, but even then, she enjoyed feeling his eyes on her as she waited to order. After her and Frank’s split, she did actively contemplate removing the ring *just for him*. But every morning she chickened out.
Her shift had ended badly. Someone knew, and that someone had announced, loudly, Frank’s *indiscretions* to the entire night staff. She’d been utterly humiliated, and she needed something, *anything* to make her feel good again.
The moment she’d seen him, sat at his usual table by the window, she knew what she wanted to do.
This time she would be brave.
She left, as she always did, just as the sun began to rise, its sharp glow illuminating the sodden streets. He watched as she strode off in the opposite direction from the hospital, eager to be home he suspected.
He should do the same, he normally did. But today his mind was somewhere else entirely. He realised, belatedly, that she hadn’t even touched her left hand. Normally she fiddled with the band, openly adjusting her wedding ring.
Today she hadn’t.
He couldn’t be sure, but he hoped, rather cruelly, that something had changed.
For now he would have to wait. He’d sat for two years, he could wait a day more.
Two days in two years.
She’d never missed a morning at the cafe. But since she was skipping work, she could hardly walk brazenly around the neighbourhood.
Instead, she’d lost herself in daytime television and a rather large bowl of ice cream.
She hadn’t shown the next day.
Or the day after that.
His heart sank deeper into darkness as he trudged home.
Spring was in the air, the damp nights turning warmer, even Scotland had some heat. Still, he pulled his scarf tightly around his neck, hiding himself in it’s thick woollen depths.
Normally he’d go straight home, but today he wasn’t in the mood to be alone. Instead he returned to work.
The steady hum of the printing press, the heavy steps of the day team walking across the wooden boards above him, all of these things kept him focused on anything but the ghosts of his past. They kept him occupied enough that he almost forgot about –her.
On day three she caved, and she returned to the hospital.
Work had been difficult. Most gave her mournful looks, some whispered as she passed them by, and the odd few made cutting comments (almostly silently, discrete enough but still loud enough for her to hear).
*She couldn’t give him children, of course he had to go somewhere else.*
*You know it’s because she works, she spent all that time away and on courses to work her way up the ladder, no wonder he left her.*
*I’m just surprised it took him so long, and to wear that ring for –a year– afterwards!*
She signed herself out and rushed off, holding back her tears. Whatever she felt, she wouldn’t let them see her cry.
Head down, she walked briskly out and away from the hospital, desperate to be anywhere else.
She was so lost in her own thoughts that she failed to notice the tall Scot stood against the side of the building. Crashing directly into him, she jumped as he wrapped his arms around her.
“I’m s-so sorry,” she managed to stutter out, her hands shaking as she held onto him whilst she righted herself, “I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Dinna fash, miss. I’m in the business of rescuing damsels in distress.” His voice sent pleasant shivers down her spine, the deep burr vibrated directly through her chest.
“It’s you,” she knew from the moment he spoke, recognising his voice, “from the coffee shop!” Looking up, she confirmed her suspicions.
“Ye ken me?” He seemed more amused than shocked, his eyes alight with mischief.
“Y-yes, I know you. You’re always there, sat facing away from the window.”
“Ha! Ye even ken where I sit. I am impressed, sassenach.”
He paled, all the colour draining from his face as he said the word. He knew she was English, of course, and it was something he’d called her in his head ever since he’d discovered the fact.
He could tell she hadn’t appreciated it, by the way she pulled herself free of him and wrapped her arms around her middle. Her eyes were red and puffy, he’d been so happy to see her that he hadn’t been paying attention. He’d only closed his eyes for a moment, and the next thing he knew, she was solidly plastered against his chest.
“I’m sorry, I didna mean to upset ye. I’ve been watching ye for so long, and I dinna ken yer name…” he was babbling, nervously attempting to keep her there with him, “I didna mean it in a mean way, I promise.”
He sounded so sincere, she couldn’t help but giggle.
She *had* been insulted, at first. But his abashed ramblings had endeared her.
“Honestly,” she began, placing her hand over his, “don’t worry about it. I’m not offended, and thank you, for holding me up.”
“It’s my pleasure…” he stopped, unsure of how to address her.
“It’s Claire, Claire Beauchamp. Pleased to meet you.” She lent him an olive branch, a small smile breaking through her sorrow.
“Weel, Claire, Claire Beauchamp. I’m Jamie, Jamie Fraser. And I’d love to take ye for a drink, if yer amenable?”
Claire blushed, dipping her head as she licked her lips and nodded.
Okay first I want to say that I've spent the last 2 nights going through your list of blurbs. WOW, I'm amazed. Second, I have one for you (if you're still taking requests). You and Harry (or Niall) are really getting into it backstage but you guys forget to lock the door and one of the other boys walk in on you. I always find this hilarious and you seem like the writer to do that :)
You hadn’t seen Niall for at least two months when you stepped off the plane in Sweden to meet up with him on tour. You were disgustingly excited. So much so that the guy next to you on the plane had sighed in frustration more than once as you rocked around in your plane seat. He wanted to sleep but thanks to your mexican jumping bean routine that wasn’t happening.
You were practically at the plane door before they even opened it.
Waiting for the town car to pick you up was torturous to say the least. And it couldn’t have been longer than five minutes. But by the time the driver pulled up you were ready to throw your bag into the window and jump in after it. However, you kept control and politely allowed him to take your bag.
And now you were finally at the venue. With the show less than an hour away, the building was already buzzing with activity. You contemplated rolling the window down to wave at some people but let it go. Your mission was clear for the moment. Find Niall and kiss the hell out of him for at least 20 minutes.
Very few are sanctified in isolation. Very few become perfect in absolute solitude.
Living with other people and learning to lose ourselves in the understanding of their weakness and deficiencies can help us to become true contemplatives. For there is no better means of getting rid of the rigidity and harshness and coarseness of our ingrained egoism, which is the one insuperable obstacle to the infused light and action of the Spirit of God.
Even the courageous acceptance of interior trials in utter solitude cannot altogether compensate for the work of purification accomplished in us by patience and humility in loving others and sympathizing with their most unreasonable needs and demands.
There is always a danger that hermits will only dry up and solidify in their own eccentricity. Living out of touch with other people they tend to lose that deep sense of spiritual realities, which only pure love can give.
Do you think the way to sanctity is to lock yourself up with prayers and your books and the meditations that please and interest your mind, to protect yourself with many walls, against people you consider stupid? Do you think the way to contemplation is found in the refusal of activities and works which are necessary for the good of others but which happen to bore and distract you? Do you imagine that you will discover God by winding yourself up in a cocoon of spiritual and aesthetic pleasures, instead of renouncing all your tastes and desires and ambitions and satisfactions for the love of Christ, Who will not even live within you if you cannot find Him in other people?
Far from being essentially opposed to each other, interior contemplation and external activity are two aspects of the same love of God.
(This chapter is an homage to the ever beautiful and glorious @gotham-ruaidh from the bottom of my heart, you are so lovely and I’m grateful you’re at the forefront of my fandom life and real life too <3)
On the eleventh day of Christmas: In which auld ghosts give fate a helping hand:
Claire surveyed her empty house. The floors sparkled and the whiff of bleach and lemon flash hung in the air as she rung out the mop one last time.
“Have ye finished in here, Claire?” Jenny sing-songed, prancing into the kitchen/dining room swinging the duster between her fingers. “I think I’m done wi’ the bedroom and the bathroom is shiny like a new penny.”
“Yes, I think so. What do you think?” she queried, unsure of her own cleaning skills, but trusting Jenny’s.
“Aye, beautiful job. Now though, Claire, I think we should be getting home. The dress fitting will be soon and ye dinna want to stink o’ detergent when the lassie gets to us, ken?”
Claire dipped her head and chuckled. Jenny had enough energy to support a whole army, and as well as her other many jobs, she had taken hers and Jamie’s wedding on. Nobody had slept for more than a few hours since she had accepted the proposal, all of them swept up in the excitement.
Feeling slightly nervous, Claire tapped her foot against the clean linoleum.
“Are you certain, Jenny? About the dress I mean,” she questioned, remembering the handful she had been presented with on their first visit to the bridal shop. “I’ve done white before. Isn’t it more *proper* to have something less…virginal bride?”
Taking the keys from Claire’s hands and sweeping her out of the door, Jenny rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“So this is what has been bothering ye all these days? Silly thing, ye are, Claire Beauchamp,” Jenny berated, a lightness to her *mild* castigation. “Ye ken Jamie is dedicated to his faith, aye?”
“Y-yes…” Claire returned, her cheeks tinting pink as they walked, arm in arm, back to Jenny’s wee car.
“Weel, I didna want to spoil the surprise, but since ye insist on being –Debbie Downer– in relation to the grandiose nature of yer nuptials, I think I should let you in on the secret.”
Brushing a loose curl away from her forehead, Claire gave Jenny a withering look. “Oh dear, what has he done?”
Biting the inside of her cheek, Jenny started the engine and pulled away from the little house for the very last time, all the while trying desperately not to burst out laughing at Claire’s trepidation.
“Ye ken fine that to wed in a church ye have to attend for three weeks and have the priest announce the ceremony afore hand. Jamie, being a staunch Catholic, and in good relation wi’ our good friends at St Andrew’s, has managed to twist the arms of those concerned, Claire.”
“But, I thought?” Claire murmured, her gloved hands clenching in her lap as she tried to process this massive news.
“Aye, we were meant to have it at home. And he would have been happy to do it. But, considering, he thought he might –try.”
“Even though I’m…not?” Words seemed hard to come by, and so, Claire, her mind racing so fast she thought it might implode at any given moment, opted for as few as possible. Jenny knew what she was getting at.
“Yer to marry a Fraser, Claire. Ye will be, won’t you?” Jenny glanced sidewards as carefully as she could as she drove through the snow filled streets and out of the city. Knowing Claire for such a short while, the subject of religion had yet to come up. She might be a solid atheist for all she knew. Not that it mattered either way; she could see the love the pair had for one another, but it *was* a major part of Jamie’s life.
Biting her lip as she smiled, Claire lost herself in the view as the car skirted the edge of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle coming into view as they approached Drumnadrochit. “I assumed as much when he braved these roads in thick snow to make an appearance that Sunday when we first met.”
“Dinna think me daft, Claire lassie,” Jenny broke in on hearing her side of their introduction, “because I amne. But…”
Twisting her head as they drove past the myriad of Nessie sculptures that lined the wee hotels through the village, Jenny paused and waited for Claire to nod before she continued.
“…whether ye believe in the Lord or no’, the man has a way of bringing the right ones together. Jamie wasne supposed to go to church that morning. Wee Jamie had been sick and I was filled wi’ cold too. Him and Ian were supposed to take the weans off to do the weekly shopping. I think we both could sense something.” Tapping her fingers against the steering wheel, Jenny shook her head, a humourous lilt to her voice as she went on, “He came to me. I dinna think we even said anything to one another, but he came and I nodded and then he left.”
Claire’s mouth opened and closed, as if willing something sensical to come, but it didn’t.
“When he came home, he told me about you. He jokes about my feeling of our father in this house, Claire, but that day, I felt it, and he felt it too. Whether that be God’s work or Da, I dinna ken, but something played a hand in it…and now yer to be marrit.”
Taking her hand from the wheel for one moment, Jenny grasped hold of Claire and held her fingers tight.
“Whatever it is that ye truly believe, Claire, a large portion of Jamie’s heart and soul is rooted in his faith. In *our* faith. That’s why he debated yer first kiss for so long. It’s also why he willna take ye to his bed afore you take him as yer husband.”
Having been moulded by her uncle, an avid fact-finder and illustrious archaeologist, Claire’s thoughts on God had been limited and shallow. She had been taught to admire all of the articles found in relation to Christianity, but had failed to have a connection with anything deeper. Now, however, she had been forced to reevaluate her notions of religion…at very short notice.
She hadn’t even actively contemplated Jamie’s lack of sexual advances. Being an amorous youth, Claire hadn’t waited for marriage for her first sexual encounter. This internal admission made her heart skip a beat. Luckily, it wasn’t a topic she felt like discussing with Jamie’s sister, no matter how close they had become.
“Do you think they would have approved, your parents?” she asked, worry lining her tone as she swept away the stray bits of dust that still clung to her skirt.
“I have nay doubt about it, Claire. Mother would have loved ye. And Da, he kent that he loved Mam the moment he laid eyes on her. A trait, it seems, he kindly passed on to Jamie himself.”
Resting her now free hand on the thin band of gold that lay on her left hand, Claire shifted her knees together in the small footwell. “I would do anything for him, Jenny. He rescued me from crippling loneliness at a time when I didn’t even know that I needed saving.”
“He’s a special one, Claire. There arena many men around like Jamie Fraser…” leaning in to her nearly-sister-in-law, Jenny snorted and bumped shoulders with Claire, “…no’ even Ian, aye?”
Claire laughed, her chest lighter for the comedic injection.
“But, Claire, so are you. If he’s one in a million and he’s chosen ye as his bride, lass, then ye have to be something special too, ken?”
Before Claire could downplay Jenny’s high praise, the car pulled onto the long winding drive that lead up to Lallybroch and the women fell silent. As they rolled around the final corner, the big house came into view, it’s outer arch covered all the way around with tiny candles –all lit and flashing together in solidarity.
“A beacon in the dark, aye? A flame to welcome us home,” Jenny whispered, bringing the car to a standstill and watching as the men exited the house side by side and came towards them, twin smiles plastered across their faces.
“Dinna fash about the white, Claire. Ye are purer than ye give yerself credit for.” Jenny breathed in the calm air of the heated car, patting her softly on the knee before bending across to give her the smallest of pecks against her flushed cheek. “Make it count, mo phiuthar. These are moments that auld ghosts have deigned important enough to gi’ fate a push wi’. Make them count.”
The nightmare had been so intense, she’d shaken, cried out –albeit silently– and clung to the damp bedsheets as the bombs had, seemingly, dropped around her.
Jamie, snoozing in the corner of the half empty barn, had noticed her struggle as she’d kicked out and knocked over a small basin left too close to her palet. The loud clatter had forced him awake and he’d immediately dashed over to comfort her.
Claire thrashed, her limbs flailing and then clenching tight as she’d tried to run for cover, lost deep between the falling debris as walls collapsing around her.
Metal flew through the air.
Sirens wailed all around her.
Then, as if by magic, nothing.
The ground still rattled beneath her feet, and the world still crumbled around her. But she could no longer hear anything.
*“Hush, mo nighean donn, yer safe. Shh, please, Claire. It’s me, it’s Jamie. I’m here.”*
A deep Scots burr cut through the deadly quiet.
A beacon in the dark.
She clung to it, desperate to find the person to whom the voice belonged before it was cruelly stolen from her once more.
In her panic, she gripped his shirt, so tight that her fingers had gone white at the knuckles. Her lips searched for his, she needed his touch.
Jamie, as if sensing this, leaned forward. She still hadn’t opened her eyes and he was unsure of her level of consciousness. But he already felt a deep connection with her, and he’d do absolutely anything to soothe her.
The moment they met, her mouth finally colliding with his, she pulled him deep under the covers, their limbs entwining and becoming one in almost no time at all.
She was frenzied, desperate for the contact, desperate for *him*.
*‘Jamie’* she mouthed, wriggling her hips against his as she tugged at his (already half askew) kilt, pawing at him as if she couldn’t get enough.
There wasn’t enough oxygen in the room.
He could barely breathe as she sucked and nibbled at him, his lips sore as her tongue tasted every inch of his mouth.
Her shift had slipped from her shoulder, exposing half of her top half, the bottom having ridden up in the furore.
He should stop this.
He shouldn’t allow her roaming hands.
He shouldn’t --he thought absently as she finally pulled the material of his kilt aside-- thrust his aching cock against her bare crotch.
She wasn’t in her right mind. She was half-crazed, pulled under by the grips of an intense nightmare. If he took her now, like this, he’d be no better than the barbarians who’d robbed her in the forest before their first meeting.
All of these things ran through his mind at once, in a matter of seconds, but it was all to no avail.
In her panic she’d achieved a physical strength he hadn’t thought possible.
She had him where she needed him, and it was almost impossible for him to resist.
“Claire,” he whispered, “Claire, it’s alright, ye…Ah Dhia!…” he gasped, well aware that she couldn’t hear him. She certainly wasn’t looking at him to read his lips.
Running her hand along the newly exposed length of him, she shifted her hips downwards, readying herself underneath him. Opening her eyes, finally, Claire looked straight at Jamie, pure passion embedded deep beyond her firm blue iris’.
He was done for.
He shifted his hands to rest on either side of her head and rocked his hips, gently, against hers. The warmth of her surrounded him almost instantly as he joined with her.
Any worry that she didn’t want this, really, that she wasn’t ready –that *he* wasn’t ready–, dissipated like dust on a summer breeze as he sank deeper and deeper inside her.
They melted, together.
She basked in the dead silence that surrounded them, sensing every wisp of sound that left Jamie’s lips as he began to move above her. Remembering the steady grunts men expelled during sex. Claire envisioned Jamie and how his voice might resonate and echo through her ears, should she be able to hear him. That thought alone sent shockwaves of desire through her.
Memories of the intonation of the voice in her dream came back to her as she clenched her thighs tightly around his hips.
He felt Claire’s hands grope for his arse as he pulsed his pelvis against hers, the damp sound of their intimacy reverberating around them.
He felt her small nails dig into his heated flesh as she rose to meet his every thrust.
Picking up his pace, Jamie moved faster, spurred on by her writhing below him. Her breasts rose up to brush across his, now, half bared chest. He hadn’t recalled her tearing at his shirt, but she must have done for the laces lay open and the slight 'V’ at the neck had been ripped a little.
Her lips found his neck as she shuddered and arched her back. The salty sweetness of his sweat coated her mouth as she lapped each drop up, along and under his chin and back up to his lips.
Reaching up, she slipped her hand under his tense one, tickling him a little as she allowed their fingers to intertwine.
’*Don’t stop…*’ she said with a sly jerk of her hips.
He felt the hairs on his thighs prickle as the telltale throb began in his balls, the heat of her soaking through every inch of him as he moved against her over –and over.
Claire knew he was close when his movements became erratic, his arms shaking with the effort of holding him up. Biting, gently, against the soft skin of his lower lip, she closed her legs around him, trapping him.
One roll of her bottom.
And then another, her feet wrapped around his calves kept him a lost flush with her. Just enough room, she’d calculated, to have him at her mercy, to make him see stars behind his eyes as he came to her.
She heard the faint murmurings of his pleasure as his chest vibrated against hers. His fingers gripping tight at her own as he bucked and stilled.
They lay panting, him still inside her, as they finally came back to earth.
Nuzzling her nose against his, Claire lifted her hips a little, coaxing him to the side before wrapping the blankets around him and allowing her leg to drape over his hip.
Half-conscious, Jamie allowed her to cocoon him up as he gazed upon her with a sort of hazy wonder.
She was a beautiful angel, he mused, a blast of light in his wee simple world.
She watched him sleep for hours, running her fingers, softly, through his soaking curls as he settled into his dreams.
Licking her lips unconsciously, she allowed her eyes to close briefly.
If there were a time to be able to talk, she thought with a sort of wistful sadness, this would be it.
Jamie shot up only a few hours later, his subconscious telling him something was amiss.
“Ifrinn!” He muttered, feeling Claire’s supple form at his side. He was still coated in her, the tang of their activities covering his skin, the musky scent of their mingled sweat filling his nose as he shook himself off.
As carefully as he was able, he slipped from her bed and righted his ruffled clothes.
How had he let that happen?
Had she done it before?
If she hadn’t, he’d just taken her maidenhead!
All of these thoughts and more rushed through his head as he paced the length of the silent stables, wanting to leave but not wanting to simply steal away like a thief in the night.
She didn’t deserve to wake up alone, not after that.
Unable to relax, Jamie started clearing away trinkets and bottles that she had scattered around her wee stall.
Anything he could get his hands on.
Anything to keep busy.
He’d tired himself by sunrise, and had perched on the ledge by the small window, scrunching himself onto the tiny shelf as he watched the sun appear through the rippled glass pane.
So lost in thought, was he, that he didn’t notice Claire rise and walk towards him.
He was beautiful, she thought, with the deep orange of the dawn glowing behind him, setting his hair aflame.
Reaching out, Claire ran a lone finger along the expanse of his upper arm, the fabric of his shirt was cool, but she could feel the slight heat of his skin beneath.
He turned slowly, swivelling his bottom against the slabs of wood that formed the window ledge.
She didn’t actively contemplate her movement, but the lust that had encased them during the night seem to hang in the air still and she’d crawled into his lap before she knew it. Her thighs rested either side of his as she bent to kiss him.
Claire; she was as light as a wee faerie, and as enchanting as one, Jamie pondered as her mouth moved fluidly against his own.
The caw of the crow knocked him from his bliss and he jerked quickly away from her, lifting her and placing her on her feet as he put some distance between them. Guilt reared its ugly head.
“Ah Dhia, Claire! I shouldna ha’, Christ!” He stood in front of her, his hands clenched tightly by his side.
What had he done?
*’Shouldn’t have? You –didn’t want me–?’*
His brow scrunched tighter as he tried to understand her signs. She’d taught him some, of course, but he was still learning.
“It wasna right, Claire. I should ha’…” his eyes flittered nervously around the ever shrinking room, “I shouldna have taken ye so.”
Even as far away as he was, she could feel the deep rumble of his voice as he spoke, a low burr that seemed to vibrate through floor and up into her through her. Reading his lips as he spoke, her heart picked up as she realised what he was insinuating.
Two fingers of his right hand rubbed lightly over his breast, right above his heart. A familiar gesture, something she’d noticed previously. Something she’d unconsciously started doing herself.
She clenched her jaw, anger flowing through her as she let him blether on, unwilling to even decipher his speech as he babbled. Her anger grew like a huge ragged flame trapped underneath her ribcage.
Claire let him continue until she’d worked herself up into such a lather. Stamping her foot she gripped the closest item she could get her hands on (which happened to be a small, thankfully empty, potion vial) and hurled it with renewed vigour at the floor.
Jamie jumped, his eyes wide as he finally looked at her.
Her cheeks were flushed the most glorious red, her pupils dilated so her eyes looked pitch black in the glow of the new day.
*’Just. Get. Out.’*
She signed, pointing towards the open door once she’d finished, her heart hammering in the confines of her chest. Pulling the laces at the neck of her shift, she held the thin fabric around herself as best as she could.
Jamie’s chest tightened. He’d hurt her, he could see the pain lingering behind her eyes.
He wanted to stay, to make it right, but he saw the stubborn set of her shoulders and kent it would be to his detriment if he stayed.
“I’m so sorry, Claire.” He whispered as he turned and fled, shame following him like a suffocating fog.
I want to start off by saying that the amount of privilege heteros are afforded is staggering and I say this as a straight person. LGBTQ representation is so fucking important, so when y’all coming prancing in with your ‘Why can’t these two just be gal pals?’ or ‘Why do you gays have to make everything romantic?’ it makes me want to weep at this level of hypocrisy, because heteros do EXACTLY the same thing.
These days all that needs to happen is for a boy and a girl to share screen time, where invariably people are going to ship it and I assure you fewer people will bemoan others for seeing romance where they only see a platonic relationship simply because the pairing is hetero. But as soon as this equation changes, suddenly a sub-set of people are up-in-arms over how a relationship has been ruined by romance.
A&E said so themselves that a LGBTQ romance had to be ‘earned’. Like everything LGBTQ people isn’t fought for tooth and nail as it is. Like the power imbalance between straight and LGBTQ people isn’t still so vast. Straight people are so heavily steeped in privilege that sometimes we don’t see how important LGBTQ representation is.
I get that we’ve been conditioned to think in strict heteronormative terms and it’s very difficult to see past the structure that’s so heavily ingrained in our society, but if you’ve been informed and educated, if you know that there’s a faction of people out there who perceive a non-hetero relationship as romantic where you only see friendship and ask ‘Why can’t you see they’re just friends?’, this is a form of erasure. If you say that LGBTQ people should be happy with what they’ve got, this is a form of erasure. If you tell them that OUAT isn’t the show for them because they’ll ‘never go homo’, this is a fucking form of erasure. STOP IT and NO you don’t get a free pass if you happen to have a friend who isn’t straight.
So before you make another indignant post shaming others for supporting a pairing with two women that you only perceive as platonic, think again because it makes you look like a homophobe or an asshole or both.
A federal hearing is set for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5 for admitted Charleston Church shooter Dylann Roof.
At the hearing, the federal government could announce whether they will seek the death penalty in this case.
Former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon told it is highly unusual for a case to be tried on both the state and federal levels.
“Here in South Carolina, in Charleston, we have this unusual situation where both systems are contemplating active capital cases which, of course, are time consuming and very expensive. And I believe the reason it’s happened this way is because of the gravity of the crime, alleged crimes. You’ve got 9 folks killed at a church service and it’s got a clear racial motivation” said Condon.
Roof waived his right to appear at Tuesday’s hearing.
His friend, Joey Meek, also has a federal hearing today. He is charged with withholding information about Roof’s plot from investigators.
You support pro choice which gives women the right to get an abortion. But do you know what else is a choice? Suicide. But I bet that you are someone who would urge someone to reconsider and contemplate the outcome of their actions. That is what pro lifers are trying to do. Get people not to turn to drastic measures in times of trouble. I understand "my body my choice" but no the government should be allowed to control people's actions if they cause harm to themselves and others.
First of all, equating being pro-choice with being pro-suicide is so far out of line that I don’t even have a response…
But moving on, let’s be clear: Pro-lifers are NOT trying to “urge someone to reconsider and contemplate” their decision; they’re actively working to make it so that there is no decision to make.
Pro-choicers on the other hand give women options; we don’t force abortions, or even advocate for them! Instead we support organizations like Planned Parenthood that give women information and services so they can make their own [non-drastic] choices– whether that be an adoption, raising babies themselves (with access to proper medical care!), or having an abortion.
Pro-choice ideologies advocate precisely what the name suggests: a choice. It means supporting women with their own reproductive choices– regardless of what they are.
When we are awake and slip into those moments of contemplation, a buzz of activity goes on in the deeper labyrinth of our minds. It is a gathering of voices in a huddle engrossed in an animated conversation. It is easy to make out who these voices are by listening to the conversation - the voice of reason (VoR) is full of conjunctions when it speaks - because, unless etc. The voice of emotion (VoE) usually predicates itself when it speaks and throws in a good amount of adjectives. There is another regular to these huddles - The voice of morality (VoM) that is trying to steer the conversation with non-committal verbs - may be, likely etc.
Occassionally, there is an uninvited guest that jumps right into the middle of the huddle. It comes from no where, lurking in unseen shadows, indescribable and waiting to confront, beyond our sense of physical and philosophical. A voice that keeps resurrecting, especially whenever there is a self conflict or great human tragedy, in spite of the best efforts to mute it, forces you to think and re-think. It is the voice of self-understanding (VoS), often taking sides with the elephant in the room and trying to push it to the center of the conversation.
VoS is often chided by other voices in attendance as out of whack and not in tune with the reality. “We have been working hard dealing with this shit all along! Where were you then and why now” is the retort. ‘Oh! well, hmmm..’ , VoS sounding apologetic - 'I thought you guys were doing it right and now I realize your actions may cause harm. The voices of self-understanding recently had a global conclave and we all felt if we had played our role well we could have prevented world wars, nuclear disasters, genocides and global hunger. We found out that the root cause starts from 'self conflict’. We now want to contribute more effectively by analyzing individual actions and reactions to avoid potential human disasters’.
'This is nuts!!’ - exclaimed VoR, 'What do we have to do with world wars and world hunger?’. 'Do I need your approval for everything I wanna do? - said VoE. 'No, I just want to make sure that the decisions that we make are right for us. We cant predict the outcome of every decision that we make but making a decision and being cognizant of its impact is what I am asking for. Not satisfied, VoR says 'It sounds complicated, we will never be able to take a decision if we keep analyzing the likely impact of our decisions on self and humanity in general’. 'May be we should take a vote on every decision that we have to make and avoid a conflict’ VoM interjecting into the conversation.
VoS - 'Yes, this will eliminate the conflict that the self has to bear because of our internal bickering’ . 'Since we are just four of us what happens if there is a tie’ - said VoR reluctantly agreeing to the idea.
VoM - 'In case of a tie we will ask 'Self’, the moderator, to cast the deciding vote’. All voices agreed and raised a toast. Mind suddenly felt calm as the clouds started clearing out opening up an expanse of new awareness.