Some lovely pictures of the Queen coming in on a rare night out in London - at @TheIvyWestSt. The Queen doesn’t often dine out in public - so nice to see her @TheIvyWestSt in an eye-catching grey paisley shawl looking so happy.
okay im in the mood for a super sad fic. jughead, post fighting with betty comes home and sees archie in the living room and is basically in tears saying “you’re her best friend and i ruined it. please, punch me, or punish me, or do something to me because she just… cried. she was just so sad– please, be angry at me, please. give me what I deserve.” and he's trying so hard to punish himself but betty's in the kitchen bc she came over to archie's for comfort a bit earlier and heard everything
Alright since they had that fight in episode 11 we’re doing this now, this is an AU because it doesn’t quite line up with the events of episode 12.
Jughead slammed the Andrews’ front door, hard. His foul mood permeated the entire room quickly as he walks into the living room to pick up some of his things.
That was it, he was going to Toledo, his father and Betty be damned. He didn’t see Archie sitting on the sofa with Vegas until his voice startled Jughead out of his rage.
“Betty wasn’t a part of it, Jug.” Archie said, softly.
“What?” Jughead couldn’t quite believe what he had heard.
“Betty refused to be a part of the break in at your dad’s trailer. She yelled at her mom and told her that she loves you and didn’t want to do it.”
A flush of embarrassed redness began to creep up his face to his ears.
“Fuck” his cussing was barely audible. He had yelled at her, discounted her. He hadn’t listened to her. His blue eyes filled with tears as he looked up at the red head on the couch.
“Please” Jughead’s voice choked “You’re her best friend and I ruined it. Please, punch me, or punish me, or do something to me because she just…cried. She was so sad- please be angry at me, please. Give me what I deserve.” His voice trailed off as the waterfall of tears began to pour down his cheeks.
“I fucked up Arch. I didn’t listen to her. I love her and I fucked up and I ruined the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m my father’s son for sure, I never deserved her. Hit me, please. Do something. Say something. I’m mad at something you did, but I took it out on her.”
Even through his blurred vision, he could see Archie’s dark eyes weren’t trained on him, but over his shoulder. Archie stood up suddenly, walking past him to go upstairs. Jughead turned to follow him upstairs. To get the rest of his things and disappear into the night.
Instead he came face to face with Betty, tears streaming from her green eyes, blonde hair in messy waves around her face. How she still looked beautiful in a crinkled dress with mascara creating dark streaks on her face was beyond him.
“I should have said something.” she whispered, as though the hurt and the tears had stolen her voice.
“I should have let you.” he said, voice just as soft as hers.
She took a few steps into the room, placing the glass of water she had been holding down on the wooden coffee table, before turning to face him. His heart ached at the sight of her blotchy, tear soaked face.
“Juggie. I should have told you what I knew. I just wanted-” her voice hitched, but she pressed on “I just wanted you to be happy, and I knew how much our families getting along meant to you.I made a huge mistake, not you. F-f-forgive me?” her glassy eyes pleaded with him.
“I forgive you Bets, I know you never meant to hurt me. Will you forgive me for what I said?”
“Of course.” she wiped the tears off her face onto her grey shawl, before bringing it to his, gently swiping the tears with the soft material.
“Archie told me that you told your mom that you love me.” his clearing eyes didn’t waver from hers.
“I heard that. And it’s true, Juggie, I do love you.”
He pulled her into him, gently brushing back her honey blonde hair to kiss her forehead.
I was torn… Should I talk to Jamie? Should I tell him I had invaded his private fortress, in a way? Maybe this was an exaggeration, but I couldn’t help but feel this way. I wanted him to talk to me, yet I also understood that he needed this solitude, to deal with his own grief. God knew I was still doing the same.
It’s a complicated and personal matter, this thing that is grief… At the same time you want to experience it alone, yet you also want to share everything with the ones who may understand you. That is also painful, even if it does help… The burden gets lighter, but part of me wanted to save those memories of my baby all to myself. I had carried her, I had gone through the agony, the pain, all alone…
But had I really? I had been lost in sadness, and that was owed to me. But I had missed my husband’s pain. Now, I had a clearer view of what he had grieved inside the dark walls of the Bastille. So, after leaving the letter back in its place, I went upstairs to our bedroom, our blue- walled refuge with the large and soft blue quilt. While I was still trying to process everything that had come up upon reading Jamie’s words, I hoped fervently that our bubble would stay that way tonight. For grief is also a volatile business. Fortunately, Jamie and I are not.
I took off my clothes and changed into to my sleeping shift and a grey shawl. Even after washing my face, the obvious puffiness of my eyes would not fool him. Shaking with anticipation, I sat down and combed my fingers through my hair. I was nervous and afraid. Of what, I was not sure. So I closed my eyes and took deep breaths, he is the one who knows me, who understands me, he is the one who completes me. It was an after shock of those lonely times in the hospital bed…
Jamie would be up soon after joining Murtagh for a dram and checking in on Fergus and Rabbie. He had been checking in on Fergus every night, assuring him he was safe at Lallybroch, that Scotland was his home and that the devil would not come for him.
I heard steps outside the door and he entered the room. With no success, I tried to hide my face, but obviously he saw right through me.
“Sassenach, are you unwell? What is it?”, Jamie asked anxiously. I knew what was going through his mind, and how much he wanted to try to help me, even though his words failed.
He took my hand and we sat at the foot of the bed. He took the hand he was holding in both of his and whispered in Gaelic. I caught mo nighean donn in there. My eyes were getting watery again, I simply couldn’t stop.
“Jamie, I found it, I am sorry.” He instantly knew what I was talking about. He was not mad, he simply dropped his head… “Aye, I thought that was a possibility… To be honest, I didn’t know if I wanted ye to read it or not.” Sighing deeply he continued, in a low husky whisper, “I’m sorry.”
“Stop saying that Jamie, stop it, please. We can’t torture ourselves any longer.” My chin was quivering and my voice was shaking and failing me. I wanted to cry and at the same time shake him out of his guilt.
“I *AM* sorry Claire”, he was sobbing too now, “I am sorry, I want her here. I feel like I abandoned her, you, yet again.” He tried to exhaust himself everyday to erase some of these poisonous thoughts away, simply because having broken his promise to me had broken him as well. Even if had to be done… I sensed his despair, it came in waves of darkness that were stronger some days. On other days the sun was able to pierce through. That so called resilience…
“No Jamie, don’t say that.” I put my arms around him, my tears were slipping on his back through the loose shirt. I felt the same way he did, but we had to keep pushing and pushing. “She’s here”, I added, letting him go just a bit, so I could touch his face. He put his hand over my heart.
“Aye Sassenach, she is. I ken she is.” He hugged me then and we stayed like that for a bit trying to mend each other. “Always… ” For that was what I felt. Not in a selfish manner, for we would have our own Faith with us, no matter what would happen in the future. “I love what you wrote.” He grabbed my hands and kissed them with fervor, palms and fingers, worshipping almost. This was the connection he had to her.
We had left a part of Scotland with her, but we could bring her spirit here… Home. “Wait a minute, will you?” I asked, kissing him, before leaving the room. I walked down the stairs, went into the study. I took Jamie’s letter again and sat down, grabbed the quill and started writing on a fresh piece of paper:
Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside
I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!
Where the brass bands play:
So just let me be beside the seaside
I’ll be beside myself with glee
And there’s lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside
Beside the seaside!
Beside the sea
When I came back up, Jamie was by the window, back strained with tension, looking down. I hugged him from behind, holding our two tributes. “We could do one thing, Jamie. We can ask your parents to look after her, we can keep a little bit of her with them.” He grabbed my hands for a few seconds and turned around. Placing his forehead to mine he whispered, “Thank you, mo nighean donn.”
Mid-morning the next day we took our leave from the big house. Jenny clearly noticed our fleeting moods and swollen eyes, while going about our morning tasks. But for once, Janet Murray kept it to herself, distributing tasks to the boys. We walked in silent companionship until we reached the Lallybroch cemetery.
There they were. Ellen, Brian, Willie… Jamie had brought a shovel, I had brought a bouquet of flowers, including thistles, tied with a white bow. And of course, our respective letters. Jamie dug a small hole next to his father’s grave.
“Gus am bris an la agus an teich na sgailean”, he said, reading the words Brian Fraser’s stone had engraved on it. I looked at him, “Till the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”
“And they will Claire.” he declared, blue eyes on fire.
“They are flying away now Jamie, they are.”
“And our day is breaking.” With that we placed our pieces of paper inside a box we brought from our room and set it in the hole. Jamie covered it again and I placed the flowers on top of the small indentation of dirt and stones. We held hands.
Faith Fraser was home.
Later that night we were in bed already when Jamie turned to me. “I would tell you about it all Sassenach, but I thought it unfair. Not only your soul, but your body suffered through that alone. My job is to help you, to care for you…”
“And you think that my job is not to care for you either? It hurt, I told you it did, it still does. I was angry. But you are healing me, let me heal you too.” My eyes were begging him, simply because I couldn’t bear to feel that despair alone again, nor would I let Jamie feel it either. We were not that. We are soulmates. “Trust in that, Jamie.”
“Aye, my Sassenach” he smiled, “I poured my heart into that piece of paper, into my daughter’s soul. It felt like I was speaking to her, imagining her like you described her to me. I felt less broken.” He tucked a curl behind my ear. “Mo chridhe, ye are my world.”
“Kiss me, Jamie.” And he did.
I was buried in his chest, in bed, in a fuzzy almost asleep state… He was praying. I wasn’t even quite sure if he was doing so awake as he whispered: “Take care of my treasure, and by your grace, God, let me be enough. In Your wisdom, grant us another.”
*”Till the day breaks and the shadows flee away.” (phrase present in Brian Fraser’s tombstone, in the show, from Song of Solomon 4:6)
I’ve work primarily as a nanny for the last decade. This winter, I took a job as an infant nanny in a suburb of Boston. I began this job at the end of January. Baby Catherine was only 2 months old, and my responsibilities consisted mainly of washing her laundry, feeding her, diapering, and putting her down for naps. She was very easy - slept well, ate well, was developing well and growing at a good pace. She seemed to like me more and more each day.
Although it was January, I took her out in the stroller when the wind wasn’t too cold. The neighborhood where the baby lived was pretty nice. Tree lined streets, large yards, the houses well spaced apart. A fair mix of older, Victorian homes and newer constructions. The baby’s house sat at the end of a dead-end street. It was fairly isolated, with a wooded area across the street and at the end of the road. The house next door was very old and in a state of disrepair. I never saw any signs of life when we passed by. Walking past gave me the willies.
I asked Catherine’s parents about the property. What her dad said to me has stuck with me.
“No, it isn’t abandoned, although it ought to be condemned. An old woman lives there, alone. She seems to be one of those hoarder people, but if you ask me, she looks more like a witch.” I laughed, but he had a serious look on his face. “She frightens my wife,” he continued. “She had an.. encounter with her one time, with the baby. We stay away from her.” He wouldn’t elaborate on his wife’s encounter.
February brought us epic snow storms, and our stroller outings ceased until mid-March, when sidewalks were clear of snow and the Siberian winds had more or less abated. I’d been feeling stir-crazy, and so had Catherine, and so I was excited to bundle her into her stroller on the first warm-ish day and go for a walk.
It’s a dying habit, the surreptitious side-glances into one
of the mirrors Howl has set up in various, dusty corners here and there all around
the house. It hadn’t been a habit at all until she’d broken the curse, but every
so often, there’s a feeling of agedness that
enters her body and grasps her heart itself like a curse of its own and she can’t
help but catch a glance.
It’s one of those feelings that washes over Sophie now and
makes her hesitate by the window, just as she’s about to leave the castle for
Market Chipping. The dusty blue dress she’s wearing is similar in cut and
design to the grey one she’d worn upon first entering the castle, the dove-grey
shawl settled around her shoulders firmly cementing the silhouette. Only the
touch of decidedly not-wrinkled fingers against also not-wrinkled cheeks
reminds her that she’s her own age again, and no one – not even the Witch of
the Waste – can take that away from her without her consent.
A rustle from behind, and she turns to see Howl with some
unexpected expression on his face. Sophie lowers her hand in shame and uses it
to clutch the edges of her shawl together, her own slack face swiftly
contorting defensively. “I’m going to Market Chipping,” she announces, hoping
to bluster her way through whatever it is Howl might accuse her of following a moment of heightened perception. “For
potatoes, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Is there anything you want?”
A random wee fan-fic that occurred to me today. Thank you for reading :)
“In my time
you would have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
mildly, taking the damp cloth from Claire and wiping it roughly over his face
and the back of his neck.
so, yes. The nightmares …”
have been able to stick me wi’ a wee needle like ye do for the ‘germs’? To cure
it I mean.”
His tone was
sharp but Claire could see his hands trembling, pale in the moonlight.
couldn’t cure it that way but …”
doesna matter what time I am in does it?”
slapped the cloth onto the floor and kicked it impatiently toward the door.
Claire bit her lip and drew the soft grey shawl tighter around her shoulders,
striving for patience. It was the third nightmare this week. There had been no
identifiable triggers to the best of her knowledge and they were both becoming sleep
deprived and irritable.
right, I’m sorry.”
finally and moved to recover the flannel. It had left a wet streak across the
floorboards that glinted silver in the white light filtering through the
windows. Her wedding ring caught the same glow and Claire ran her thumb across
its burnished surface, thoughtfully.
voice cracked ever so slightly and she knew he was once again able to be held.
She turned towards him and stopped with a rather high-pitched noise as her hand
flew to her throat.
“I may not
be such a bonnie sight as I was when we wed Sassenach but I didna realise I was
poor enough to make ye scream!”
dryly and placed his hands in front of himself for modesty but made no move to pick
up the discarded blanket at his feet.
“I … no …
you just surprised me.”
smiled and reached towards him, stepping close but not quite touching the solid
muscle of his naked hip.
canna normally stand to be touched after the … the … nightmares?”
his voice carefully devoid of emotion. Claire nodded, slowly once and gently
traced the tip of her finger from his shoulder to the centre of his chest.
prefer I keep it that way, Claire? I wouldna blame ye for no’ wanting to lie wi’
me so soon after …”
He made a
sweeping gesture with his hand encompassing all that accompanied his vivid and
terrible dreams of Wentworth and Culloden Moor and the moments after waking in
which he could not bear to be near another soul, even Claire.
want to do anything to … alarm you. That’s all.”
whispered the last two words and pressed her hand flat against the deep copper
curls that covered her husband’s chest. The skin there was warm despite the
chill in the room and she smiled slightly, allowing her fingers to spread so
that the tip of her little finger rested over the tiny bud of his nipple, which
rose to greet her touch, stiffening and puckering the ruddy skin around it.
dinna doubt ye could alarm me if ye chose to, Sassenach, I dinna think ye will.”
lowered his guarding hand and very lightly pushed the shawl away from Claire’s
left shoulder, leaning down to place a single kiss on the exposed skin.
“Will ye …
draw me to ye, mo ghraidh? I wish to be wi’ ye but I dinna think I can manage
it myself just now.”
straightening and staring down at his wife with large eyes, that were almost
black behind the veil of his hair which obscured his face from the light. Claire
flexed her fingers, digging her nails ever so gently into the flesh of his
chest. She did not speak for there was no need for any words now. Jamie had
asked her to draw him out of himself and into her and she would do so in
silence, the better to hear the need of his body.
her little finger with her tongue, allowing her hands to travel around his hips
and drop to grasp his thighs, just below the sweet curve of his arse. Somewhere
over the ridge an owl called out into the night in search of its mate and the
soft patter of Spring rain began to drum against the window panes, changing the
smooth arc of light to a rippling, writhing glow that fell upon Claire as she
eased Jamie back onto the bed, in a tumble of shadows.
“I love you.”
stilled the movement of her hips as she looked down at him. His hands resting
lightly on her hips, head back against the pillows on their bed and the silver shine
of tracks down his cheeks.
“Oh! Jamie …”
She began to
move but his grip tightened and his own hips gently lifted; a fragile command and
fierce plea for mercy in one.
ye need to say more. I’m no’ a broken thing, not here with you.”
of their mingled breath joined the forgiving sounds of rain washing away the
dust of the day from the house. The owl called out again and this time his mate
answered with her own cry, somewhere deep within the pines, inviting him to her
home and shelter.
“Ye smell of
murmured, tucking the blanket up around them and drawing Claire close to his
chest, burying his nose in the cloud of her hair.
the buckets today. I’ll be boiling it tomorrow. Syrup, you see?.”
voice was thick with sleep and Jamie felt a small tug of guilt for disturbing
“I see. Good
night, mo Sorcha.”
kissing the curve of her ear gently. She sighed in response and moments later
her breathing took on the gentle, easy rhythm of sleep.
his own breathing still further and closed his eyes. His legs and arms ached from
the work of the day and his very core still seemed to throb with the memory of
Claire’s flesh around him. He felt his heart beat quicken but pushed the
thought away, he would not wake her again if he could help it. No, he would
listen to the rain and to his wife breathing easy beside him and count the
many, many blessings he had.
sudden and urgent from the pillow beside him made him jump slightly.
“I love you
raised his knuckles to her lips and kissed his hand before sinking back into
slumber and a little while later, Jamie gave himself over to a deep and
dreamless sleep too, a small smile playing in the corners of his mouth.