Ian woke up the morning of December 27th around 4:45 AM, feeling rather warm–but not hotter than usual.
5:00 AM: He stepped into the shower, quickly rubbed a bar of soap over his body before shampooing his hair and jumping right back out again.
5:15 AM: After changing into his clothes, he ran down the staircase, brushing his teeth. He reached for a banana on the counter.
5:18 AM: His uncle rounded the corner from the study, looking intently at his nephew as he attempted to brush his teeth and eat at the same time.
“What in God’s name are ye doing, man?” He implored of his nephew, setting his newspaper down on the counter and leaning against it, eyebrows raised.
Ian looked from his toothbrush in one hand to the banana in the other, thinking of a proper way of explaining himself. He shrugged slightly, with a sheepish grin on his face. “Killin’ two birds with one stone?”
Jamie shook his head, a smile gracing his lips.
5:23 AM: Ian bid farewell to his uncle, and went to head out the door. Jamie stopped him, however, as soon as he hit the doorframe.
“Ian, the back of yer shirt is drenched.”
“Well,” Ian replied, “I did take a shower, Uncle.”
“I ken that, ye dolt. I mean that ye’re sweating, wi’ it bein’ freezing outside.” Jamie shook his head, then gestured his hand towards himself. “Come ‘ere, then.”
Ian, rolling his eyes slightly, and, shoulders slouched, walked towards his uncle. Jamie put the back of his hand against his nephew’s forehead, pursed his lips tightly before instructing the young lad to cough.
The boy did as he was bid, and a bunch of mucus seemed to jump from his lungs to his throat. The sound was thick and disgusting, and Jamie rose his eyebrows at his nephew.
“Looks like ye’re not going to work today, after all,” Jamie smiled, then pushed his nephew lightly on the shoulder towards the staircase. “Back to bed wi’ ye. Make sure you tell yer mother I told you to stay here.”
“Alright,” Ian agreed. He took a step forward but then turned back to his uncle, eyes wide. “What about Geordie?”
“Dinna worry about that, lad,” Jamie smiled. “I’ll take care o’ yer route for you.”
Nodding, Ian turned back to the staircase and took them two at a time, a wide smile on his lips as he went back to his room. Little did his uncle know that Ian was not sick, and just had taken a very hot shower.
And thank God for allergies, he thought to himself as he curled up in his bed, ecstatic at the idea of being able to sleep in.
Despite several attempts to get himself on his nephew’s bike, Jamie instead opted to drive his truck around the suburban neighborhoods of Boone, throwing the papers out the window as he passed. He was able to finish the route in just under an hour, which was much different than poor Ian Murray Jr.’s two-and-a-half-hour biking escapade.
When he pulled into the small subdivision of Simon’s Landing, his heart started to pound. Not from nerves–of course not from nerves–but just from the sheer knowledge of her presence.
He had tried, multiple times, to pick up the phone book and search for her phone number, skimming the yellow pages for Beauchamp, C. And amongst the Lambert’s and John’s and Harrison’s, his finger had hit that inked letter C–with the eight digits following–and he would slam the book closed. Both of the Ian’s had chastised him multiple times over the matter, and even his sister joined in the proceedings once or twice.
“Ask her on a date, ye clotheid,” she frustratedly muttered to her brother over breakfast one morning. “If you dinna want to do it, then I will do it for ye.”
The opportunity had presented itself to him this morning with Ian’s sickness. Whether this was a sign from God or not, he didn’t know. But he took it graciously, and asked Him not to let him screw this up.
With his nerves clogging up his throat, to the point he was almost suffocating, he walked up the few steps to her porch and approached her door. He rang the doorbell once and heard the shrill ring of it echo through the house. Rocking back and forth on his heels, he shoved his hands in his pockets, the newspaper squeezed between his arm and his side.
Every second that passed seemed like years. Each new breath that he exhaled came out in faster waves as his heartbeat increased, the cold morning air causing them to form into mist in front of him. Getting slightly impatient–and worried that she wasn’t inside–he looked through one of the front windows of her porch in search of her.
As soon as he did this, however, the door swung open and there she was.
“Good morning, Mr. Fraser,” she greeted, a warm smile on her face as she pulled her cardigan closer to her body against the brisk morning chill. She looked from his face to the newspaper in his arm and nodded at it. “Is that for me?”
Flustered, he fumbled with the paper in his hands and thrust it forward, unattractively and clumsily, at her face. “Aye, I–uh–yes, this is yours.”
The smile on her face grew ever wider, showing all of her beautiful white teeth. She stepped to the side and opened the door just a tad wider, inviting him to come inside. Still discomfited, he nodded once and came inside, allowing the warmth to envelope him in a blanket of comfort.
“Would you like some coffee? I just made a pot,” she inquired, gesturing to the kitchen where the coffee pot sat in his view. Shaking his head, but thanking her nonetheless, he watched her walk out of the entryway and into the brightly colored room. A moment passed before she turned towards him, a sheepish smile on her lips as she filled up a mug. “You can come in here, you know.”
He took a step, then realized that his boots were wet from the snow outside. Grimacing, he called to her as he went to place his shoes outside, “I’ll take my shoes off outside, so as to not ruin your floors.”
She waved a hand in dismissal, but he didn’t see it. He popped off his boots in front of the door and stepped back inside in his woolen socks.
“So, where’s your nephew this morning?” Claire asked as he stepped into the kitchen, eyebrows raised as she took a sip of her coffee. He committed her drink of choice to memory: Black, no sugar, no creamer.
“He’s at home sick. He woke up wi’ a fever this morning.”
A concerned look crossed over her face as she set down her cup and crossed her arms over her chest. “What were his other symptoms?”
Jamie shrugged, “I’m no’ one to ken exactly what to look for when someone is sick, but he was sweatin’ a lot; his whole shirt was soaked through. His head was hot to the touch and when I asked him to cough, ‘twas the most disgusting thing I’d ever heard.”
Her fingers tapped on her arm in thought before she asked, “Had he taken a shower this morning?”
“Aye,” He replied, eyebrows shrunk together in confusion as she chuckled lightly. “Why?”
She pursed her lips and raised an eyebrow, but didn’t say anything. The look that she was giving him made him nervous, which caused him to voice a nervous, “What?”
“Well…” She tried to suppress laughter as she took another sip of her coffee. “I do believe that you have been played a fool.”
Jamie, flabbergasted, left out a huff of agitation. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Since I haven’t seen him, I can’t say that I’m entirely right, but I do believe that he has nothing more than a small case of allergies.”
Getting rather annoyed, he crossed his arms and stared at her crossly. “And how do you know that, just from the wee bit of information that I’ve shared wi’ ye?”
She was trying so hard to keep her smile contained from behind the rim of her coffee cup. “Because I’m a pediatrician, Mr. Fraser. It’s my job.”
If he thought he was embarrassed before, he was downright mortified. His face flushed and words seemed to die in his throat; not a single one of the apologies he could think of were enough to excuse his error. There was nothing he wanted to do more than to kneel at her feet and beg for mercy.
As much as he thought she was mad at him, though, he could see that it was much the opposite. She seemed amused at his tongue-tied state, Damn her, and the smirk on her lips proved it.
Scrambling to find a way to make it up to her, he stammered out, “Can I take ye to dinner?”
A cringe formed on his face as he watched her eyes widen then return to their normal size, but the smile didn’t leave her face. Before she could answer, he went to explain himself, the words spilling out of his mouth in a long stream of word vomit. “I mean, not that I like ye more now that I know that ye’re a doctor. My opinion has really been the same since I first met ye, it’s just that–”
“I would love to go to dinner,” she interrupted, setting her coffee mug down on the counter. She turned from his shocked face to her refrigerator, where a small calendar rested to mark her schedule. He watched as she pulled a marker from the holder and went to find a day she had off, her slender finger pointing to the 31st. “What are your plans for New Year’s Eve, Mr. Fraser?”
Shifting from foot to foot, he shrugged. “Nothin’ much, I dinna think. I don’t start workin’ again until the New Year.”
“I work in the morning, but maybe we can do something that night,” she started to write his name down as Mr. Fraser but stopped short. She turned sheepishly to him and murmured, “I suppose since we know each other well enough now, we could know each other by our first names, right, Jamie?”
Jamie nodded with a smile, savoring the sound of his name on her lips. “I suppose so, Claire.”
My favourite thing about Jamie’s portrayal in the extended universe is that sometimes, he’s mildly Scottish with a few Ayes thrown in there, maybe he mentions his ever present kilt pride, y'know, that sort of thing.
And then sometimes he’s just the full blown ‘wha’ s tha o'er there, Doctor, tha isnae no wee beastie, ye ken me?’ and is beating people over the head with his bagpipes while hollering the Skye Boat Song and generally being the most Scottish Scot to ever scot, and it is becoming increasingly clear there is NO MIDDLE GROUND between the two.