jamie-and-claire

anonymous asked:

Is the following the hottest thing Jamie's ever said during sex and if not, what is? "'Look.' His breath came hot in my ear. 'Look down. Watch while I take ye. Watch, damn you!' His hand pressed my neck, bending my head forward to look down in the dimness, past the folds of sheltering fabric to the naked fact of my possession. I arched my back and then collapsed, biting the shoulder of his coat to make no noise. His mouth was on my neck, and fastened tight as he shuddered against me."

Let me share my personal favorite, from the very end of Book 1:

 "Even better,“ his voice was a hot murmur in my ear, “when I come to ye fierce and wanting, and ye whimper under me, and struggle as though you wanted to get away, and I know it’s only that you’re struggling to come closer, and I’m fighting the same fight.”  

      His hands were exploring, gently, slowly as tickling a trout, sliding deep into the rift of my buttocks, gliding lower, groping, caressing the stretched and yearning point of our joining. I quivered and the breath went from me in an unwilled gasp.  

      “Or when I come to you needing, and ye take me into you with a sigh and that quiet hum like a hive of bees in the sun, and ye carry me wi’ you into peace with a little moaning sound.”  

      “Jamie,” I said hoarsely, my voice echoing off the water. “Jamie, please.”  

      “Not yet, mo duinne.” His hands came hard around my waist, settling and slowing me, pressing me down until I did groan.  

      “Not yet. We’ve time. And I mean to hear ye groan like that again. And to moan and sob, even though you dinna wish to, for ye canna help it. I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break, and scream with the wanting, and at last to cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I’ve served ye well.”

Seek, and You Shall Find

An Outlander Fic


Jamie’s blood ran hot and cold, alternating between the ice of vengeance and the flames of anger.

The bright red of his coat was unnatural in the woods, an infection that could cause a sickness on the fertile land. Something the world should be rid of immediately.

But, Jamie considered himself an honorable man. Stubborn and passionate, but honorable. He’d never consider killing a man with his back turned.

At least, that was before Randall appeared in the clearing before him, unsuspecting and unarmed. Washing his hands in the creek.

No, it wouldn’t be right. But, the sound of shots and yells from behind created an echo in his brain: There’s a fight going on. Who would ever know it was you?

No. He would know. And could he forgive himself? Eventually. Maybe.

Jamie stretched, feeling the friction of his shirt on the long healed scars on his back. That gave him pause; another contemplation. Could he? Should he?

No.

The wind whipped around him, and he lifted his face, nostrils flaring. He smelled the tang of blood in the trees around him, remnants from the attack. He heard the distant cries of his kinsmen, the sharp clanging of metal, a low sound from a wounded animal.

He opened his eyes, taking one last glance at Randall, and turned. A flash of white caught his eye, and made him stop.

Nestled against the rocky crag was a woman. She was roped, tied hand and foot. Bruised and beaten, he only saw glimpses of her pale skin between the purple and black spots that littered her body. She was stripped down to her shift, the flash of white that had caught his eye.

Was this Randall’s doing?

That was a stupid question. Of course it was. Randall was capable of anything, Jamie had learned quickly. Beating and binding a small woman was just one of his crimes.

Jamie’s feet were moving before his mind could catch up.Instinct. He felt much less human than he ever had, crouched and sneering. He didn’t feel the weight of the sword in his hand. He didn’t feel the earth beneath him. All thought, all energy was focused on the bright red of his target.

Muscles tensed and rebelled against the foreign object being plunged within them. But, it was too late. The sword went through Randall’s back, the tip sticking out of his heart. And he collapsed.

Jamie stared at the colorless face, black eyes stared unseeingly back. A dishonorable death. But, did he deserve any better?

Jamie had no time to ponder such inquiries. He jogged to the woman, her eyes wide and frightened. But she did not flinch when he pulled the gag out of her mouth.

“What’s yer name?” Jamie asked. She coughed and spluttered, but did not answer. He noticed her mottled throat, bruised from fingers pressed tightly against it. His face grew hot. “It’s okay. Do ye trust me?”

Her eyebrows drew together, and she shook her head. No, of course she wouldn’t.

“Aye. I suppose not. Do ye trust me more than him, though?” He motioned to the corpse by the creek. “Or any of the other soldiers about?”

She nodded without hesitation then.

“Come wi’ me.” He cut her ropes with his dirk, and lifted her into his arms.

Clair(e)voyance

1:2

“Where’s the body?” 

His tone was as harsh as his entrance.  

Claire stopped, and faced her intruder.  “And you are?” she asked, hands on hips.

James paused.  He gave a ghost of a smile.  “Sorry.  I’m Detective Sergeant James Fraser,” he stepped forward to shake her hand. “And a body was removed from a crime scene before I got there. So, I’m a wee bit fashed. Didna mean to be so rude.”

Claire was impressed.  She didn’t know too many officers who admitted to being frazzled.  They were always about control, but this one looked a bit sheepish. She took his hand.  It was warm, firm, and swallowed her own.  She looked into his face, and was met with a pair of deep blue eyes.  Unwavering. Honest eyes.  

Something danced on the edge of her mind.  

“The body is here,” Claire said, finally letting go.  “I haven’t started yet.  I need to prepare first.”

James nodded.  The bones of her hand were delicate.  Hard to imagine this waif of a woman tearing through dead people.  

“Can I see him?  I mean, while you do that.”  James asked.  

Claire considered for a moment.  “No.  You can stay if you like, and watch the autopsy, but no.  I won’t have evidence contaminated.”

“Aye,” James said.  “I’ll wait.”

Claire prepared the table, gathered her necessary instruments on a tray, gowned herself, and then went for the body.  When she was ready she adjusted her microphone, and got to work. 

She was thorough, James could see that.  She dictated everything, cataloged each piece of clothing, noted every scar, birthmark, and tattoo.  He watched her work.  Steadily.  Carefully.  Confidently.  Her voice was strong, competent, and quite easy to listen to.  She captured his attention, in more ways than one. Curls riotous around her head, which sometimes hid her face.  Her whisky coloured eyes never missed a thing.  She stirred him in ways a female hadn’t in a long while, which was why he found himself wondering what she looked like under that voluminous lab coat.  

She was, quite simply, the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.  

And the most interesting.  

Because at one point he could have sworn he’d seen her close her eyes and shake her head, as if something was buzzing around inside her brain. When she opened her eyes, she made a quick notation on a legal pad that sat off to the side, but did not verbalize it.  An off-the-record note.

He maneuvered his body slowly so as not to arouse suspicion.  Taking his time, he crept around the table to see the paper. 

Her handwriting was difficult to make out. It looked like a poison, followed by what might have been Stranger.   

James stared at Claire.  A tiny shiver ran down his spine.  Now how on earth would she know that? 


James sat at his desk.  It was late.  Very late.  He was looking over the M.E.’s notes.  Claire’s notes.  

Tapping the fingers of his right hand, he kept staring at the last line in the report.

“Patient found to have excess saliva build up, showing signs of a breakdown of the muscle tissue, kidney failure, excess toxins in the bloodstream, as well as muscle tissue byproducts in the blood, signs of respiratory failure.  Cause of death:  poison.”

James couldn’t stop thinking about her momentary lapse, and the note on her legal pad. A note she made before cutting the body open.

It’s like she “saw” it, before she saw it.

That ignited his superstitious Scottish mind.  It brought to mind the old Gaelic words parents used to scare little kids into following rules.  Words like sìthiche, Bana-bhuidseach.  He didn’t believe in fairies, or witches, but he wasn’t going to renounce them outright either.  His culture was still his culture, after all.

But the woman intrigued him. In many, many ways.  


Claire lay in her bed thinking about her first autopsy at Scotland Yard.  She’d been careful in her notes, and in her dictation.  She knew what to look for, and made sure to find the physical symptoms to support her knowledge.  

Her gift was a blessing and a curse.

She’d never meant to have an audience, but she thought she’d hid it well.  It was a small vision, and for that she was grateful.  The bigger ones sometimes caused her to faint.  The Detective had been serious, quiet.  He didn’t ask questions, or interrupt her work.  

But he was a distraction.  A damn big one.  With the most extraordinary hair, all copper, and gold.  Intelligence poured from those piercing blue eyes.  

She closed her eyes and saw him again, watching her.  Always watching her.    

Did he know?  Did he see?

He couldn’t have.  It was brief.  Fleeting.  

But the man intrigued her.  In many, many ways.

Clair(e)voyance

A new AU that I’ve been creating.  I hope you enjoy.

1:1

“Where’s the body now?”

“In the morgue already, Detective Sergeant.”

“It’s been moved from the crime scene already?  What’s the damn hurry?” he inquired from the constable in front of him.  The young man just shrugged. How in the hell was he supposed to deal with a crime scene when the body was missing?  How was he supposed to gather evidence in relation to the victim if that vital piece of the puzzle was missing?  James threw up his hands, and left.

Detective Sergeant James Fraser was seriously considering an early retirement. The job was wearing on him.  Every day the same thing.  Murder. Mayhem. Liars.  Drug Addicts.  Runaways.  

The perpetrators seemed to get younger and younger.  Which was a peculiar thing for him to think since he was only in his 30s.  James had joined Scotland Yard at 23. He rose quickly through the ranks with his clever mind, and a work ethic that rivaled men many years his senior.  He was single, which was fine. So far the couple of girlfriends he’d had couldn’t handle his job.  They hated his hours, the way he detached himself from society in order to stay sane.  He took to the outdoors to clear his mind.  He left London every chance he could to hike the countryside, sometimes taking nothing but his grandfather’s plaid as a blanket, a backpack of food, and a small tent.  

James was a Highlander, born and bred.  He was often teased about his broad Scots accent at the precinct, but he didn’t care.  They could say what they wanted about his speech, they couldn’t deny his skill as an investigator.  

Which was another reason why he was considering early retirement.  Most days he was surrounded by incompetence.  

And right now he needed to pay a visit to the new medical examiner in order to ascertain why protocol had been abandoned.  


Dr. Randall was not yet satisfied with her new digs.  The old Examiner kept a very shoddy house.  The Morgue had been a mess.  Files in disarray, and improperly managed. Some notes were illegible, and nothing in the drawers were grouped in any sort of order, that she could see. The instruments were scarce, some rusted.  

She made an inventory of what she needed. She contacted the cleaning staff and had them come to the Morgue immediately to scrub it and make it worthy of the medical facility it was. 

She liked being a Medical Examiner.  It was a solitary profession.  Quiet. Simple. No more losing patients, facing loved ones with the news.  But beyond that, being an M.E. afforded her the reclusiveness she craved.  No one to give her dirty or inquisitive looks.  No one to gossip about her personal or professional life. Here she could hide her talents. 

Talent as a doctor.  

Talent as an intuitive.  

She got tired of the “how did she know that?” questions that plagued her over the years when working in a hospital in Boston.  She’d gotten better at holding her visions inside until she could find the medical evidence and precedent needed from other cases to support them. But as an M.E. she could be herself with no one to see her. 

Now, with her husband dead, she had moved back to London to start over. A new life.  A life in which she wasn’t cheated on, or made to “play nice” with boring, stuffy academics.  A life where “keeping up appearances” could go straight to hell.  She wasn’t the meek and obedient type, which was what Frank had wanted.  She’d married far too young.  Married too long to an intolerant man.

The only men she wanted to spend time with now were cold on a slab in front of her.  

She walked over to the morgue’s refrigerator, and pulled open the only occupied drawer.  The body needed to be examined, but she had to set up a few things first.    

She closed the drawer, and turned to walk away when the double doors to the morgue were flung open.  She registered five things. 

Tall.  Red headed.  Broad shouldered. Handsome as the devil.

And decidedly pissed off.  

A Far Away Infinity

This fic idea was just floating around in my head for a while and I finally wrote it. It will probably be around four or five parts. Let me know what you think!


Part 1 // Maybe it’s You and Me? //

The museum was busy for a weekday, Claire thought. She would know as she visited the museum at least once a month one her days off from the hospital. People bustled around her in hushed whispers around the gallery, gazing at the art hanging on the walls.

Claire stood back from the cluster of people, readjusting her sunglasses on the top of her head and squinting as the small text box next to the painting instructed to do. Art was one of her favorite things, though she had no creative ability whatsoever. Science was more her style, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t spend her days admiring others’ labor of love.

Museums were quiet and evoked a sort of peace in her, she had found. In contrast to the hectic ER, the museum juxtaposed the energy in her professional life. She would get lost in a gallery, tracing the footsteps of others and observing the other guests as much as the art on display.

Having been through all galleries three times, she decided it was time for coffee. Black and strong. It was a treat she always looked forward to at the end of her visit. A nice place in the museum café, looking out at the streets with a book for the next few hours.

She walked down the corridor leading to the main lobby of the museum, pulling out her phone and glancing at the lock screen.

Frank Randall

Just landed. Talk to you tonight. 

She typed out a quick response and pocketed the phone again. Frank was on a trip to London for the weekend. He usually came along to museums with her, though he preferred the historical museums more than the modern. 

They had been dating for the past three years, and a little part of Claire loathed to admit that she preferred going to the museum without him.

She loved Frank. She really did. He took care of her and loved her, but Claire couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Or was she being unrealistic? They had a solid love, a comfortable partnership. Dependable. Frank had mentioned marriage more than once, he being eight years older than her 28 years. He was ready, but she wasn’t. 

Why?

Sighing, she glanced around the small café at the seats available and sighed again when there was a man in a beanie sitting in her usual spot. She shrugged her jacket tight around her in frustration and moved to grab her coffee, all the while glaring at the face hidden in their laptop.

 Grumbling to herself, she sat her purse on the table behind her usual, hoping the man would leave soon so she could snag it.  Her spot had the perfect natural lighting for reading and the one she currently sat at was uncomfortably close to the rubbish bin. 

Cracking open her book, she began to lose herself once more in “Wuthering Heights” and sipped her hot coffee.

Immersed in the world of Catherine and Heathcliff, she neglected to notice her phone buzzing until it rang for probably the third time.

JAMIE FRASER flashed on her screen with the photo of them together on the estate of his family’s home. She loved that picture. Faces pressed together, smiles on their faces from the crazy wind whipping their hair around, and the green valley in the background.

Quickly, she tapped the screen and held the phone up to her ear.

“Hello?” 

“I was beginning to think ye were ignoring me.”

The sound of his voice made a ridiculous smile spread on her face and her toes curl.

“No, not ignoring you. I was reading and didn’t hear the phone,” she laughed. “What’s up?” 

“Can’t a guy call his best friend?” 

“Oh, I’m your best friend? I thought that was Ian?”

He laughed. She missed his laugh. “Ian’s my brother-in-law. It doesn’t count.” He paused for a moment, “What are you doing?”

She glanced up and noticed the the man had left and her table was vacant. Scrambling, she put the phone into the crook of her neck and gathering her purse, coffee and book. “Just reading a little. Boring, you know me.”

Triumphantly, she deposited her stuff on the table and sighed as she sat down, settling in for another long haul. “What, are you coming home from the gym?” 

He liked to call her on his way home after a work out to pass the time and chat. Though, it was usually a lot earlier where he was. Time differences were a bitch.

“No. I’m rather annoyed though,” despite the statement, she could hear him smiling.

“Oh, about what?” She inquired, taking a sip of her now cold coffee.

“This girl just stole my table,” he said with a huff.

She almost dropped her cup. Without being obvious, she tried to scan the room. He’s not here, you’re being ridiculous, she thought to herself, but still, her eyes searched.

“Well, go steal it back,” she said, a little breathless. She hoped he didn’t hear it.

“Alright,” he laughed and simultaneously, she felt two hands clamp onto her shoulders. The familiar feel of them meant she didn’t need to check, so she turned and threw herself into his arms. 

“Jamie!”

He hummed into her hair, “Well, hello there,” he chucked, wrapping his arms around her tight. She remembered how they felt when he held her against his chest and when he carried her in his arms, and when he pinned her down to the be– 

“Happy to see me?” He interrupted her memories while stepping back to look at her.

“Of course, but why aren’t you in America?” 

She took a step back from his embrace with regret. His denim jacket smelled like heaven and she wanted to breath in the scent all day until she got drunk off it.

“I just came for a visit. I’m heading to Lallybroch in a few days, but I wanted to see you.”

An ear-to-ear smile spread on her face and she felt it flush. He smirked and wrapped an arm around her, grabbing her stuff off the table and leading her towards the exit.

 “Let’s go,” he said, his nose accidentally grazing her temple. 

Gathering her thoughts, she made a few inches of space between their bodies, shrugging out of his arm. Don’t get close, her brain warned. Not again. You won’t recover a second time. 

~Five Years Earlier~ 

Tonight, the sky was lit with a smattering of stars that illuminated the walk to the pub. The inside glowed like a snow globe, a little bubble from the harsh Scottish weather. It would be cozy inside with multiple fires burning and some good company.

It was Jamie’s 23rd birthday tonight and she was here was to help him ring in the new year of life, along with a few other close friends from uni. It was also a premature goodbye party as graduation was approaching fast and soon they would go their separate ways into the real world.

As she walked in, rubbing her gloved hands together and sighing from the sudden embrace of warmth, she immediately felt eyes on her. She didn’t need to look around from hanging her scarf and coat up to know that it was Jamie’s eyes looking at her. She always knew what his gaze felt like. A spark of adrenaline, warmth and awareness was the recipe and she found it intoxicating.  

They had met as freshman and were close ever since. There had been an attraction since the beginning, but nothing ever happened between them. He was her best friend and vise versa, but he had had a high school sweetheart, Laoghaire, and he had dated her the first two years of uni. When they broke up ­–which everyone saw coming– Claire had already been dating André, a transfer student from Spain. Their relationship was rocky at best and lasted the better part of last year, but quickly ended after he moved back to Spain. 

 But now, since the first time they had met, they were both single. Though, Claire felt sure that friends was all they were destined to be.

“Ah, there she is! And late, who would have thought?”

Smiling, she shook her head and butted her shoulder against Jamie as she took the vacant stool next to him. “You’re lucky I came at all, bastard. I do have an exam in two days.” 

His eyes crinkled as he smiled at her, which made her heart skip, and wrapped an arm tight around her. He poured her a beer from the pitcher the table had been sharing and raised a glass towards her. “Now, WE DRINK!”

“Ayes” were exclaimed around the table, from Rupert, who had already looked drunk to Gellis, who looked more than annoyed with him, to Angus, Willie and a few other faces ready to get pissed as Rupert was putting it. 

“Cheers, birthday boy,” she clicked her glass against his.

“Cheers,” he murmured, not taking his piercing blue eyes off hers as he took a sip.

 Warmth pooled in her belly, but she fought it away with a gulp of cold beer and enjoyed the rest of the night without any feelings complicating things.


“SHE WANTED ME, MAN! BERDAAAAA! COME TO ME!” Rupert stumbled drunkenly while Jamie and Angus tried to shuffle his huge body into a cab.

“She didna want ye, Rup,” Jamie struggle to say under his weight. “She just wanted ye to leave her be. Yer drunk, man. You’re going home.”

Rupert glared at him while Angus got in the cab and pulled on him with all his might. Between Jamie’s shoving and Angus’ pulling, Rupert finally managed to get himself in.

Right before Jamie shut the door, Rupert pulled on his collar while looking at me with a cocked eyebrow and whispered something to Jamie that made him turn bright red. 

Glancing away nervously, she pulled out her phone and pretended to type something out while the door closed and started to drive away.

“Do ye want me to call you one, Sassenach?”

“Um,” she glanced up at him as he looked down at her. Damn that poker face. She could never tell what he was thinking, but she hoped that he couldn’t see through her glass face at that moment. 

The wind whipped around them, chilly for May. She didn’t want the night to end, to not see him again until next week after finals were over. And then what? Where would they be?

Time seemed to be slipping away too fast for her to catch it and it made her palms sweaty and her heart race.

“Hm?”

He moved a step closer to her to block the wind while she decided what to do next. She wasn’t drunk enough to say anything rash, but maybe had just enough buzz to do something daring. 

He rubbed a hand down her sweater to warm her. A friendly gesture. Did he only see her as a friend? 

Well, if he rejected her, she could just joke it off as her having to much to drink tomorrow. Or she felt bad he had no one to kiss on his birthday.

“Claire, do you want me to –”

She cut off his question with her lips.

He jumped slightly as if the feel of her kiss was the last thing he ever expected, ever imagined in that moment. He was motionless underneath her hands. Still as a statue. 

Gently, she released his top lip with the upmost reluctance, stepping down and looking at his unreadable face.

She knew he could read her own face in that moment. Her eyes were wide and lips parted still. She licked her bottom lip and his eyes watched the motion like a hawk.

Taking a step back even further, she pushed the hair from her face and looked down at her feet.

“You don’t have to say anything, Jamie. I’m sorry,” she stuttered and fumbled for her phone in her pocket while he still gawked at her.

 “I’ll just,” she motioned back to the bar. “I’ll call a cab.” 

She turned sharply and wondered if she should stumble to make it seem like she was drunk for her alibi tomorrow. 

“Oh my god,” she muttered under her breath, watching it form a cloud in front of her. Caught up in her own humiliation, she didn’t hear his footsteps until she felt his touch.

 Before she realized what had happened, she found herself against the cold brick of the bar, out of sight, in the dark with Jamie’s lips pressed urgently against hers. 

Gasping into his mouth, she did nothing as one arm snaked around her waist to pull her body tight against his. She felt his other hand weave into her hair, pushing her beanie off and gripped her hard. Her own hands dangled at her side as his lips and tongue urged her mouth open to him.

He pulled back to look at her, gasping for breath as if he had just run a marathon. His lips were red and swollen from her kisses, a curl of red dangled in front of his face and his eyes were heartbreakingly blue. The earlier mask was gone and all she saw was urgent hope. She had never seen him more beautiful. 

“Are you drunk?” He asked, looking carefully into her eyes. 

“No, are you?” 

“No,” he whispered, brushing a strand of hair away from her face, then cupping her cheek in his palm.

They starred at each other for a long beat, both unaware of what to do next.

It’s time to be brave, Beauchamp.

She licked her lips again and took a deep breath. “Maybe you can call that cab?” 

He stared at her for a moment and then his eyes flickered away from her as he shuffled his feet.

“Ok,” he cleared his throat and patted his pocket for his phone, eyebrows drawn together in either confusion or disappointment. Maybe both.

She smiled a little and snagged a finger into one of his belt loops, pulling him back against her. He jerked in surprise and look at her like she was a puzzle he couldn’t find the missing piece to. 

“But how about it only goes to your place?”

Continue here

We walked arm in arm down the cobbled slope of the Royal Mile at a quarter to five, suffused with a glow engendered by several bowls of well-peppered oyster stew and a bottle of wine, shared at intervals during our “private communications.”
      The city glowed all around us, as though sharing our happiness. Edinburgh lay under a haze that would soon thicken to rain again, but for now, the light of the setting sun hung gold and pink and red in the clouds, and shone in the wet patina of the cobbled street, so that the gray stones of the buildings softened and streamed with reflected light, echoing the glow that warmed my cheeks and shone in Jamie’s eyes when he looked at me.

internallydeceased  asked:

for shifted could we please get jamie and claire fluff while she's pregnant?! (idk why but this is my favorite thing)

anonymous asked: Shifted prompt! How about Jamie getting a gift for Claire and being worried/shy about what she’ll think of it when he gives it to her. Something sweet and sentimental, of course!         

For the next few weeks I’ll be writing one-shots in the Shifted universe, filling in the blanks that we don’t see in the main story, before we resume the main action with Part 7 - The Visitor.

If there is a particular scene you’d like to see, send me an ask and I’ll see what I can do!

In Shifted, the premise is simple - what if Claire had gotten pregnant with Brianna a month or two earlier in the story, and she and Jamie had re-evaluated  their priorities and decided that the cause was lost, and they were able to slip away from the army and quietly return to Lallybroch?

Previous installments…


Interlude – The Gift

Lallybroch, Hogmanay 1752-3

Claire shifted beneath the covers, restless.

Jamie could hear her dreaming. The nightmares had returned again – growing in intensity as their new bairn grew within her belly.

Sometimes it was the dream he had sent her back to Frank – the same dream that had troubled her so when Brianna was a newborn.

Sometimes it was dreams of walking on a dark, quiet Culloden Moor, wading through the bodies of fallen Highlanders – and then finding him cold and dead.

And sometimes it was a dream full of redcoats – burning the house, taking Brianna away, throwing Jamie into prison. Taking away everything she held dear.

He couldn’t tell what it was tonight – only that she would wake soon, and that she would need him to hold her, to listen to her, to support her.

The temperature had dipped significantly in the past week – and no amount of extra wood added to the fire could heat the room to his satisfaction. Brianna was like him – impervious to the cold – and only relented to sleeping in the same bed as two of her cousins after receiving orders from her parents and Murtagh to do so.

Claire, on the other hand – her fine skin was exquisitely sensitive, now that she carried the bairn.

In the circle of his arms, he felt her swallow – limbs tightening as she awoke.

“Ssshh,” he whispered. “I’m here. Ye were dreaming again.”

Slowly, slowly she rolled to face him – pressing the bulge of her belly against him.

“Can you light the candle, please?” Her voice was raw, rough, two hundred years away. “I need – I need to see you.”

Swiftly he kissed her forehead and turned on his side, striking one of the clever matches Claire had made and then coaxing the small flame to life.

He settled back against the pillow, meeting her tired eyes, pulling the quilt closer around her shoulders.

“I shouldn’t have had that extra helping of mincemeat – my stomach has been rolling all night.” Her whisky eyes glowed like a cat’s in the candlelight.

“Ach – it’s only Hogmanay once a year,” he smiled, stroking her cheek with the back of his knuckles. “Ye’re entitled to celebrate a bit. Lord knows we have plenty to be happy about in the new year.”

“I feel terrible that I didn’t even make it to midnight. Some Fraser I am.”

“Then we have something to look forward to next time when ye can hold our newest Fraser in yer arms to greet the new year.” He bopped the tip of her nose with his thumb – eliciting the smile he craved.

The bairn moved against his belly.

His mother’s rosebush scratched against the window.

“Hold still,” he murmured – fixing the moment in his memory.

She humored him – eyes locked. Sharing.

He smiled then – so wide – and softly pulled back the quilt, careful to keep her tightly wrapped up against the chill.

“Jamie? What – ”

He padded over to the fire, added a log, and then stooped to rummage through the trunk against the far wall.

“It should be past midnight by now. I have something for you.”

“Whatever for?”

“Are ye saying ye dinna want a gift from yer husband?” His voice was muffled – teasing.

She sat up against the headboard, hands spanning her belly, soothing their now quite active bairn.

“He’s awake, too,” she murmured, meeting Jamie’s eyes as he returned to bed. Smiling.

The feather mattress dipped beside her, and Jamie held out one clenched fist.

“Give me yer hand, Sassenach.”

She lay her right hand – palm up – on the mattress. And then felt a small bit of metal – warmed from Jamie’s hand – slide against her fingers.

Curious, she brought it closer to her eyes, squinting in the candlelight.

“Do ye need spectacles in yer auld age?” he whispered.

She ignored him – studying the worn but beautifully made brooch.

Silver – a bit tarnished – and old, but clearly well-made. Circular – shaped like a wreath – with carefully incised flowers and leaves. Stylized – figural and yet abstract. The work of a master craftsman.

“Jamie – I – ”

“It was my Da’s,” he whispered, reaching one tentative finger to trace the smooth surface. “Mam gave it to him as a wedding gift – she took it from her own father’s bedroom, at Leoch. My grandfather had had it made in Edinburgh, you see – and Mam didna think he would miss it.”

He so rarely spoke of Ellen Fraser – or the family she had so scandalously left behind – that Claire bit back her questions.

“When Mam met Da – it’s true they ran off together, that night. But Mam was practical – she kent weel that she’d have to bring some things wi’ her. So she had Murtagh help her prepare – he helped her gather a wee bag of her possessions, because she also kent that she would never go back to Leoch.”

“Murtagh?”

Jamie lifted his eyes to meet Claire’s startled gaze. “Oh, aye. He helped her escape wi’ my Da.”

Tears suddenly sprang to Claire’s eyes. “For he loved her so much that he helped her sneak away with the man she chose.”

Jamie bent to kiss her cheek. “Aye. And then followed behind, to witness their handfasting. Have I never told ye that before?”

She shook her head – but that was a story for another time. “But how does this brooch fit in to the story?”

“Mam was busy packing her personal things – but she realized she didna have anything to offer Da. So she asked Murtagh to find something of her own father’s to give him.”

“How in the hell did he get into the Laird’s chamber? I remember there were always men hanging about Colum’s room – ”

“Weel, in the auld days, they werena so careful – or else they wouldna have let their prized daughter sneak away wi’ a selkie, now, would they?”

She shook her head, amazed. “So Murtagh chose this?”

“Aye, he did. He knew my grandfather was wearing his best brooch, with his plaid that night – so he picked the second best. And that’s what Mam gave Da on their wedding night.”

“I guess I could make a joke about second best – ”

“Mam always did. But Da was just honored to have it. He wore it wi’ his plaid every day when I was growing up. And now I want our son to have it.”

Jamie splayed his hand over her belly – fingers tangling with hers – delighting in their bairn’s acrobatics.

“You’re so sure it’s a boy?”

His fingers tightened in hers. “Aye. Ye are, too – so is Brianna. And Jenny. And Mrs. Crook.”

Claire theatrically rolled her eyes. “Well then. That *must* mean it is so, if so many Frasers are convinced.”

He pursed his lips, and swallowed. Thinking.

“I ken the lad will never be able to wear his plaid out in the open – at least not while he’s a bairn, anyway. But I want him to learn our traditions – learn the way things were. The way they should be.”

His eyes lighted on the floorboard under which they had so lovingly stored their Fraser plaids in the dark days after passage of the Dress Act.

“The way it will be again, Jamie.”

His lips twisted in a wry half-smile. “Aye. Ye’d ken that now, wouldn’t ye?”

Gently she lay the brooch on her bedside table, and opened her arms.

He came, and rested so closely beside her – tangling his legs in hers.

“Thank you,” she whispered after a long while. “I want him to be raised as a true Fraser – in your own image, and with the memory of his grandparents. Surrounded by love and family.”

He burrowed his face in her neck – inhaled the hair at the base of her skull.

“I love you,” he whispered.

She held him close – as she would the baby, when it came.

“You are the breath in my body – my blood – my bone.”

She kissed the crown of his head.

“In this child – and in Brianna, Jamie – we are united. We will live forever now, you and I. And your parents – and my parents – they continue.”

He shifted against her, burying his face under her chin. Breath shallow.

“I need you.” His voice shyly vibrated against her sensitive skin – so soft she felt it more than heard it.

She undid the neck of her shift, and he opened the laces, and they softly, sweetly celebrated one more year together.

Fanfiction - Stealing Tomorrow (Chapter 7)

Just one more chapter to go! <3

Chapter 7 – Find Me

Edinburgh, Present day

Claire placidly munched her cereals – a bit soggy for her taste – as she inspected the cover of The Scottish Sun, frowning in concentration. The evocative headline occupied almost half of the front page, with a photo illustrating their cover story – “Murrayfield Hero ready to go home!”. The image – certainly captured by one of the first reporters at the scene – showed Jamie wearing his full firefighter gear, walking out of what seemed like the dooryard from Hell, carrying one of his men – probably unconscious - on the shoulder. The article promised more details and juicy revelations on page four (“From Broch Mordha to Edinburgh’s hottest”), page five (“Other legends on the Fire Department”) and page six (“The heartbreaking testimonies of Fraser’s braveness”).

“One would think that almost turning into crisped bacon was the fastest route to stardom.” She snorted to herself, taking a sip of rich and dark coffee. “I bet they are scavenging the Highlands for gossips about Edinburgh’s new sweetheart.”

The last couple of weeks had seen an increasing interest on Jamie’s persona by the media – the well-liked Station Officer with an irreprehensible career, respected both by men under him and by the ones in charge behind a desk; the lone wolf, by all reports divorced years ago, that refused all approaches from desirable women and seemed to wear an irremovable chastity belt; the loving son, who accompanied his crippled father until his death two years ago; the hunk,  spotted working out without his shirt on, delighting all women in the headquarters’ neighbourhood.  

Claire tried to avoid every conversation that contained even the slightest mention of Jamie – a considerable feat, since even the nurses continuously buzzed about how handsome and well-mannered he was.

After his shattering revelations – which had thrown Claire into a new spell of insomnia, which she used to get her charts up to speed – their conversations had consisted mainly of monosyllables and medical exchanges. She would check his drains; he would ask about a prevision to start physical therapy on his hand. She looked for signs of infection on his surgical wounds; he told her his pain was a four on a scale of one to ten. She compressed her lips, trying to avoid screaming at him; he said nothing, accepting her radioactive silence with the hopeless patience of a convict sentenced to imprisonment for the rest of his days.

Claire knew he was trying to give her time to process their conversation, before touching the subject again. His Fraser stubbornness, usually despairing, was serving him well in that instance.

Knowing his reasons had changed the starting point of their fallout – but not the outcome. He had tried to protect her and give her the life she was meant to live – and in that harrowing attempt, had failed to comprehend that, without him, every achievement felt void of its meaning. Jamie had used lies as a gift – and the unwrapping had broken both their hearts. Where once stood sadness and incomprehension, now rested anger and betrayal, pumping from her with every heartbeat, crushing her vessels with their intensity.

But the most unbearable pain, the one that kept her awake at night, was the undeniable desire to forget it all – to take him in her arms and cradle him against her repairing heart. To kiss him and feel him melting against her – to bite his lip and taste his blood, knowing it pulsed with her name. To hear him whisper his secrets and the truth in them.

“Bloody man.” She whispered, her fingers reluctantly caressing his picture. “What am I going to do with you?”

****

“Thank ye for taking me.” He repeated for what was probably the tenth time. “The lads were supposed to get me but they’re shorthanded as it is in the department.”

“No problem.” She replied shortly, driving through Edinburgh’s streets, immersed in the evanescent light of dusk. Claire had offered to take him home after his discharge from the hospital, using the employee entrance to avoid the questions and flashes of journalists. “At least this way I know you won’t do anything stupid with your hand, until you’re actually inside the house.”

“Hm.” He snorted with mirth, looking at his still- bandaged hand. “I’m just glad I’ll be sleeping in my own bed, without anyone waking me to ask if my bowels moved already or spooked by the beeping sounds of the wee machines.”

“Which way now?” Claire asked, softly tapping the steering wheel with her fingers, as they achieved a deserted crossroad.

“Left.” Jamie gave her a renitent half-smile. “Ye’ll keen the way from here, I suppose.”

“Yes.” Claire breathed out, a tight knot forming inside her throat. “I believe I do.”

The building of their old apartment was visible down the street, looking exactly as she remembered it – the earthy tones of the façade vivid, that used to remind her of the soil of her flowers, fertile and homely. Propelled by the sight, memories came rushing back, as if they had been expecting to be summoned just in the corners of her conscience, brutal as needles in the back of her eyes.

“I received half of the money when the apartment was sold.” She blurted incredulous, blinking furiously in the half-light. “The man who bought it was someone named Angus MacKenzie.”

“He is a friend.” Jamie said softly. “He sold it back to me as soon as the deal was done.”

“Why would you want to live in this place?” Claire asked nervously, brushing back some of her curls, which had been falling over her face. “After everything that happened?”

“You were still here.” He whispered in a hoarse voice. “In a sense. The mattress of our bed had the shape of your body carved. There was the wee spot on the kitchen’s wall, were tomato sauce spilled, because we were too busy making love on the floor. The curtains ye chose, because ye never had such a house before, and a true home needed proper curtains.” Jamie looked at her, his eyes soft. “This house is everything I had left of ye, Claire. I couldna leave it.”

“You should have burnt it.” Claire hissed, fighting back the surge of emotions that made her vulnerable to his words.

I don’t want you anymore.

I loved you well.

She parked the car in silence and helped him getting out, prescinding of the assertive tenderness she usually applied to every wounded creature. They slowly climbed up the stairs – the elevator being broken again – until the third floor, the former residence of a happy newlywed couple.

Jamie opened the door with his keys – he still used the same keychain, Claire noticed, of a leaping stag shaped in silver. She had offered it to him, on their first Christmas together.

“I need to use the bathroom.” He smiled shyly. “I’ll be right back, aye?” And without waiting for her agreement, he rapidly strode out of her sight, as if to avoid that she used the opportunity to say her final goodbyes.

The living room was almost precisely the same – photographs taken more than ten years apart would only show small changes, like a different elegant cream-coloured rug and a new lamp by the corner. Everything else seemed to have been caught in the webs of time, as an insect amid flight trapped by a predatory spider.

Claire’s eyes travelled across the tomes on the bookcase – where some new volumes had been added to Jamie’s impressive collection, sleeping next to their photographs – and her eyes were attracted by a drawer’s open crack. Feeling ashamed, but somewhat entitled, she slid it open until the full compartment was exposed.

With her hands shaking, she grabbed the magazine on top of the pile – an old issue of The American Journal of Medicine. She recognized it instantly – she also had a copy of that same issue, stored in one of her boxes since the move. Abandoning any attempt at discretion, she surveyed the contents of the drawer.

Jamie seemed to have found every publication where her name came up – from obscure magazines where her name had been cited after another dozen; to the most reputed surgical journals, with her articles and findings front and centre. It must have been a constant and tiresome job, keeping up with her career, for someone not even in the medical field.

How many hours had he laid there, only their ghosts for company, the consolation of her success a bittersweet drug to numb the pain?

All those days between what they had been and what they were now, forever lost – no regret or anger would win them the right of a replay. But perhaps they still had the chance of stealing tomorrow; of reclaiming the piece of themselves left behind, placing their stones and pillars to build a new sacred place, a new life.

“In my darkest moments, it helped.” She listened his deep voice say from where he stood by the door, his eyes secluded. “Knowing that what I did had some meaning. I celebrated each one of yer victories from afar, as I couldna be kissing ye as I wished.”

“It was your choice.” Claire replied, forcibly closing the drawer.

“Aye.” Jamie said, his shoulders slumped in defeat. “I told ye – I dinna regret what I did. But I do regret every tear you shed and every unhappiness I may have caused ye. That I regret…most terribly.”

“If I hadn’t come back and found you by accident…” She said, her arms hugging her body in defence. “Would you ever tell me the truth?”

He tilted his head, his auburn hair coming alive with the slight reflection of the white glow outside. Jamie walked until he was closer to her - able to touch her in an instant, if it wasn’t for the barrier they had both fought so hard to erect.

“There was a time when I thought it a blessing to know what ye were thinking at all times.” He licked his lips and closed his eyes, his long lashes shielding bottomless blue. “My glass faced lass. Now I only see yer pain and yer hate - and it kills me. I’d rather be dead than to see ye so. No – I wouldna say a thing. I wished to let ye live yer life and, hopefully, forget me.”

“How could I forget you?” She whispered. “And how can I forgive you?”

“I’m prepared to wait as long as it takes, Claire.” Jamie swallowed hard. “And if it canna be in this life, I shall pray for a chance to meet ye again in the next - and find yer forgiveness there.”

“I don’t know how to start.” Claire brushed her forehead with her fingers, breathing fast. “I don’t know what to say to you.”

“Tell me how I’ve hurt ye.” Jamie slowly touched her hand. “Speak to me about what has been broken. I am still the man ye loved – and what ye dinna ken about me now, you can learn in time.”

“And if I don’t want to?” She said slowly, tilting her chin to avoid his scorching gaze.

“Then know I shall love ye forever.” Jamie brushed her knuckles with the fingers of his sane hand. “Ye are my home, mo nighean donn.”

“This home is lost, Jamie.” She sobbed, the pressure of his fingers making her flesh tingle. How many times had they stood there, him whispering his love, her believing it with all her heart?

They were bathed almost in complete darkness – night had fallen outside and the scarce light that came from the lamppost by the window dipped them in shadows. Jamie swished, as if he was about to fall on his knees – but his hand came up then and he touched her cheek, insecure and tentative.

“But it can be found again.” He softly kissed her forehead, real against the absence of light surrounding them. “Find me, Claire. Find us.”

what ye don’t ken, ye’ll learn...

“She always complained about her ears — said they stuck out,” I said, feeling the tears sting my eyes as Brianna came suddenly to life between us.

“They’re pierced. You don’t mind, do you?” I said, talking fast to keep the tears at bay. “Frank did; he said it looked cheap, and she shouldn’t, but she wanted to do it, and I let her, when she was sixteen. Mine were; it didn’t seem right to say she couldn’t when I did, and her friends all did, and I didn’t — didn’t want—” 

“Ye were right,” he said, interrupting the flow of half-hysterical words. “Ye did fine,” he repeated, softly but firmly, holding me close. “Ye were a wonderful mother, I know it.”

I was crying again, quite soundlessly, shaking against him. He held me gently, stroking my back and murmuring. “Ye did well,” he kept saying. “Ye did right.” And after a little while, I stopped crying.

“Ye gave me a child, mo nighean donn,” he said softly, into the cloud of my hair. “We are together for always. She is safe; and we will live forever now, you and I.” He kissed me, very lightly, and laid his head upon the pillow next to me.

“Brianna,” he whispered, in that odd Highland way that made her name his own. He sighed deeply, and in an instant, was asleep. In another, I fell asleep myself, my last sight his wide, sweet mouth, relaxed in sleep, half-smiling.

– Voyager