gremlin fail

anonymous asked:

Are Jamie and claire going to get a car in the boston story? Car junkie here, kind of dying to know what kind??

Anon from Mod Bonnie’s personal blog: is jamie going to get his driver license soon?

Flood my Mornings: Liberty and License 

Notes from Mod Bonnie:

  • This story takes place in an AU in which Jamie travels through the stones two years after Culloden and finds Claire and his child in 1950 Boston.
  • Previous installment: Some Sunday Morning (A crime close to home prompts a serious butting-of-heads between the Frasers)


September, 1950

“Oh, yes, I’m sure Cinderella is a darling film,” I said into the receiver, curling my finger absently around the cord, feeling the breeze tickling the backs of my knees, “but I’d really prefer not to have Bree go to the movies until she’s a bit older…. Glad you understand, thank you, Penelope, dear….and thank you for answering my call….No, no word yet, still waiting…. Hope to hear very shortly!….I’ll phone again as soon as we know…Yes, goodbye, dear.”

I hung up and and walked back to my shady bench from the pay phone, checking my wristwatch for what felt like the thousandth time that morning. Jamie and I had both taken off work for today’s mission, but at this rate—three bloody hours after we’ve arrived at the godforsaken DMV—I apparently needn’t have bothered.

“Come on, Jamie,” I murmured under my breath in the direction of the glass doors across the green, “give him what for.”

He’d failed the first time, two weeks ago. A travesty, too, for thanks to his quick memory and ease with academic learning, he’d gotten a perfect score on the written portion—a first for this district, the glowing proctor had said. His only mistake was to have the miserable poor luck to be assigned the most crotchety pedant known to mankind for the in-car examination. Jamie neglected to signal a left-hand turn once—ONCE—and the nasty gremlin had failed him on the spot. To make matters worse, the old grump had rambled on and on about it, tsking about ‘a man of Jamie’s age ought to know better,’ ‘Such carelessness!’ ‘A danger to himself and others!’ and perhaps most gallingly, ‘Dratted foreigners coming in and roaming about as they please, bringing in their Commie ideas!’ et cetera.     

“It’s alright, Sassenach, I’ll ken next time to be more fastidious wi’ the signals. It’s *no’ matter,* a nighean,” he’d said firmly, trying to calm down my ragings against the examiner, his relatives, and any animals unfortunate enough to be his pets. “I’ll almost certainly be assigned a different examiner next time, dinna fash.” 

But given the many hours he’d put into studying traffic laws and practicing on the road with Hank, the failure definitely rankled him, and I knew it. 

None daunted, we’d tried again today. Jamie had come out after his written exam and seemed confident in his performance, laughing easily with me as we shared a coffee and a Mallo Cup (his favorite modern treat to date), apparently ready to take on the world. Then, Lo and Be-bloody-hold, out had rung an oily, “James Fraser?”: the Gremlin, clipboard in hand, grinning with the macabre glee of an executioner. Jamie had swallowed his mouthful, kissed my cheek, and stridden forward to meet his foe with dark determination, Penelope’s keys clinking in his hand.

After the first hour of (im)patiently waiting, I’d gone outside to get away from the general stink of the Department of Motor Vehicles. My bookmark lay scarcely twenty pages into 1984, and I couldn’t have told a bloody thing about those twenty if my life depended on it. 

Another half-hour later, my nerves worn to shreds, I looked up at the opening double-doors for the millionth time to—at last!—see Jamie emerging, buttoning his suit jacket as he walked toward me. He saw me, I could tell, but he wasn’t meeting my eye, staying hidden under his hat, hands uncharacteristically shoved in his pockets.

Bollocks,” I hissed under my breath, rising from the bench under the tree, “Goddamn frigging bollocks….THAT EXECRABLE WRETCH!” I preemptively shouted as he walked up, head still bowed, reaching for my hand and kissing it soberly. 

Sassenach, hush, ye—”

“You wait right here, I’m going to give that little xenophobic vermin a piece of my–”

Sassenach,” Jamie said, voice steady and light, “will ye stop blethering and look down?”  

I spluttered for a moment, but did look down… to see a crisp Massachusetts driver’s license in my hand.

I swatted him with it. “So it’s YOU that’s the execrable wretch!” I scolded, laughing, in thoroughly relieved pique. Abandoning decorum, I jumped up and flung both arms around his neck, kissing his cheek exuberantly “Jamie, you DID pass—Congratulations, you utter ARSE!”

“Aye,” he laughed.“The sour wee mannie tried to dock me again for my four-way stop,” Jamie recounted, kissing my neck happily, “but I recited book-chapter-and-verse from the manual and proved that I did in fact have the right of way. He was fuming all the way back about how all Europeans are a threat to ‘Our Liberty’ but…he passed me.”

“Oh, well DONE, darling!” I cried, inspecting the license again as he set me back down.  I then stepped back to fix him with a gimlet eye. “SO…are you ready to have this out once and for all, then?”

He gave me the look right back, with interest. “Have you come to your senses since last night?”

My senses are right as rain; but I shan’t be swayed, if that’s what you mean.” 

“Shall we flip a coin for it, then?”

My coin,” I agreed, withdrawing one from my handbag and giving it to him, “you flip, I call….TAILS!” I cried as Jamie caught the coin and slapped it onto the back of his hand.

“Tis the moment of truth, Claire: give up now and walk away wi’ honor?”

“Never! Tails, you brute.”

Jamie unveiled the coin dramatically….then groaned.

“Ha-HAAA!” I crowed, “the ‘49, light-blue, four-door sedan it is!!! So there!”

“But the station wagon is so much more practicalSassenach!” he insisted for the dozenth time.

“We’ve made do without a car entirely to this point—I think we’ll manage. And before you ask, yes I’m dead-set on the blue. We’ve got quite enough red in our family as it is, thank you very much.”

He gave a dramatic sigh, but the corner of his mouth was twitching. “Fine, fair’s fair. But—” he held out his elbow to me in a courtly fashion, “—only if the lady will share a milkshake wi’ me before we give Mr. Ford our custom.”

I took the arm with equal grace. “That sounds perfectly reasonable. As long as it’s a chocolate milkshake, no malt.”

He snorted. “Is there any other kind?”

“Good chap!”


[next chapter]