medicine boxes

Yuuri tore across the ship so quickly that the claw tips curling off his feet left scores in the wood. He found the doctor still asleep and had no hesitation in shaking him from it. When Emil’s eyes opened, wide but housing the haze of slumber, the siren forgot his usual caution.

“Wake up! Victor, he’s— Help Victor! Help him, now!”

Emil had no chance to question Yuuri’s panic. His legs swept him from his cot without his explicit intention, whisking him from the crew quarters to Victor’s cabin. Yuuri shouted ‘hurry!’ after him and Emil obeyed, nearly falling over his own disobedient feet.

In their room, Emil leant over a stirring Victor and examined the wound. He pressed lightly on the flesh around the stitches and heard a strained hiss.

“That doesn’t feel good,” Victor muttered, silver lashes fluttering to half mast.

“It doesn’t look good,” Emil replied, his usual upbeat tone low. “I need to open it, Victor…”

“I’ll survive,” Victor said, leaning back on his pillows. His eyes shifted to Yuuri and he smiled, the curve of his full lips missing the strength with which Yuuri had grown so familiar. “Good morning, lovebird.”

Yuuri wanted to scream as Emil ran out, still under the influence of Yuuri’s command. His heart skipped over itself, tripping and crying inside his chest. He watched, kneeling at the edge of the bed, when Emil returned to redress the wound.

The doctor cut away the stitches from the day before, draining out the signs of infection. Victor had set the corner of a cushion between his teeth, eyes screwed shut and jaw clenched. Emil splashed the wound with alcohol and resealed it with new stitches.

From his medicine box, Emil mixed dried roots into a drink that emitted an odor that filled the room with bitterness. Victor swallowed it with nothing more than a grimace and a relieved sigh when the cup was emptied of mouthfuls.

The humor from the previous day was absent when Emil turned to Yuuri. “With the gunshot being where it is, there’s not much more I can do. We just gotta hope he can fight it.”

By afternoon, Victor’s fever raged and the red of the infection spread. His bandages and bedding grew damp with sweat. No matter how many times Yuuri whispered ‘heal’ through choked breaths, it didn’t. Victor’s warm fingers crawled across the bed and wrapped around Yuuri’s, holding on for support. Too warm. Too hot.

“Stay with me, lovebird…”

Yuuri ripped his hand away and fled. He scrambled out, onto the deck, and bolted for the edge of the ship. His wings, molting, still barely formed, beat hard enough to blow the ship off course. He dropped straight down and hit the ocean, screeching through his tears.

Wings straining, feathers shedding, Yuuri forced himself into the air, through the pain, and flew for the horizon. He forgot to command Victor to ‘live.’

6

Birds Painted on Pharmaceutical Packaging by Sara Landeta

Madrid-based artist Sara Landeta is using an unexpected canvas for her paintings… unfolded pharmaceutical boxes! 

Titled Medicine as Metaphor (referring to Susan Sontag’s ‘illness as metaphor’ writings), Landeta paints the animal often associated with freedom — the bird —  onto these boxes, creatively drawing parallels to medicines holding patients in captivity. 

“This juxtaposition of the natural and synthetic interprets the patient as a captive animal, and the bird as its metaphor,” explains Landeta. See her works up close here.

Instagram.com/wetheurban

10

He stared at his arm with interest. “I’ve germs in my arm, have I?” “You very definitely have.” I tapped a finger on the small flat box. “The medicine I just shot into your backside kills germs, though. You get another shot every four hours ‘til this time tomorrow, and then we’ll see how you’re doing.” I paused. Jamie was staring at me, shaking his head. “Do you understand?” I asked. He nodded slowly. “Aye, I do. I should ha’ let them burn ye, twenty years ago.”

Voyager, Chapter 36: ‘Practical and Applied Witchcraft’.

Should’ve Known Better

Summary: Requested by anon: “Can you write a Grayson imagine where he get sick when visiting your family and he wakes you up in the middle of the night because he’s feeling really sick to his stomach and doesn’t really know what to do because he’s in an unfamiliar place and super fluffy !! Thanks!!”
Word Count: 1,780
Warnings: None. Fluff (?) I hope so!
A/N: Writing this was so much fun. Imagining it as I wrote it made me feel so mushy and now, I want a sick Grayson to look after. I hope I’ve done it justice and I really hope you like it anon! I’ve tried my hardest to make it fluffy and I really hope you enjoy it. Okay, now I’m nervous and anxious. Requests are open as is criticism and feedback. Hope you enjoy reading it!! Xx


You should have known better than to believe your boyfriend when he brushed off your concerns about him coming down with a cold. Despite Grayson doing a poor job of muffling his sneezes, trying to be inaudible as he cleared the ‘itch’ in his throat, you let yourself believe him when he said he was fine and that it was just allergies getting the better of him.

Now though, sitting at the airport, waiting to board the flight, you were kicking yourself internally for having listened to him. You looked over at your boyfriend, his red nose and watery eyes barely hiding just how sickly he was feeling. Catching you staring at him, his lips pulled into a smile.

‘I’m fine, babe’ he said, his cheery voice not doing much to calm the worry that was starting to build inside of you.

The flight to your hometown was long and arduous. Unsurprisingly, Grayson had fallen asleep the minute the two of you were seated. His head nestled in the crook of your neck, arm wound round your waist, he had somehow found a way to snuggle into you even with an arm rest blocking half his body.

The nap had done him some good it seemed, as you both departed the flight, your fingers entwined with his. He seemed livelier, his energy and smile almost back to how it usually was. He had even insisted on carrying both your bags as you exited the airport, waving off your suggestion to use a trolley.

It was late evening when you arrived at your parents’ doorstep. Your parents had pulled you into a hug, their arms somehow managing to wrap both you and Grayson in it. The house was suddenly filled with laughter and conversations, Grayson and your father seating themselves in the living room, while you followed your mother into the kitchen, your dog hot on your trails.

After having covered the basic topics of conversation: how was life in L.A, how was the job treating you, how were things between you and Grayson, your mom turned to you, concern etched across her face.

‘Was it just me or did Grayson appear a bit flushed and not the “I’m turning red because I’m meeting your parents” kind of flushed?’ she asked, her voice soft and worried. You sighed, looking over your shoulder, taking in Grayson’s beautiful face. He seemed to be engrossed in some deep conversation with your father but you would be blind to miss the slight sheen on his forehead and the red that was starting to pigment his nose, just like it had at the airport.

Biting your lip, you turned back to your mother, who was eyeing you patiently.

‘You know how he is. He refuses to accept that he can fall sick. He’s been playing it cool for a week now and it seemed like he had it under control but ever since we left this morning, it hasn’t been looking too good. I’m just going to wait until he finally caves and accepts that he’s not feeling well. If I push him now, he’s just going to huff and puff. I wouldn’t put it past him to beat his chest while he’s at it.’ You replied, rolling your eyes as you spoke.

Laughing softly, she had pecked you on the cheek, before carrying out the food to lay on the dining table. Dinner was uneventful, conversations flowing smoothly. You couldn’t help but keep looking over at Grayson, taking in his appearance. He was doing an okay job of hiding how he was feeling although the gruffness in his throat very obviously gave away just how sore it was. Unable to help yourself, you had held his hand under the table, squeezing it gently, in an attempt to comfort him. He had patted your hand, mouthing, ‘I’m fine’ to you as he did.

Soon after, you both had retired for the night. Grayson was out cold even before you could turn off the light. His snores were quick to fill the room, although the way they were escaping, you were sure Gray was going to wake up with a blocked nose in the morning. Letting out an exhausted sigh, you had curled up next to him, his body warmer than usual, immediately wrapping itself around you.

It was still dark out when you felt Gray shift beside you. You heard him get up and soon after sensed the bathroom door being opened. Not giving it much thought, you drifted back to sleep. Soon though, you were being shaken awake. Sitting up, you rubbed away at the sleep still heavy in your eyes as you squinted at Gray towering over you.

Bathed in the light from the bathroom, one look at him and you knew things had taken a turn for the worse.

‘I didn’t want to wake you-‘ Grayson began but you interrupted him, placing a hand on his bare chest.

“Shh, it’s okay. Lay down and I’ll be right back,’ you replied softly, flinging the sheets of your torso as you got out of bed, your hands deftly tying your hair into a knot. Nodding quietly, Grayson crawled onto your side, pulling the sheets over himself, shivering as he did.

‘I couldn’t find the medicine box,’ he mumbled, as you turned on the beside lamp before padding over to switch off the lights in the bathroom.

‘It’s in the kitchen,’ you answered as you continued, ‘I’ll be right back.’

A slight groan was all you earned in response.

Pulling the medicine box out of the kitchen cabinet, you hurried back to Grayson who was curled into a ball. Sitting down next to him, you pulled out the thermometer before sticking it in his mouth. His beautiful brown eyes, now glazed and unfocused, looked at you, taking in your furrowed eyebrows. His big hands wrapped around your dainty ones, trying to comfort you as you eyed him, worry starting to seep into your bones.

You pulled the thermometer out once it was time, confirming what you already knew. Yup, he was running quite the temperature. You grabbed the glass of water you had placed on the bedside table before falling asleep. Helping him sit up, you handed him the glass before giving him the medicine to swallow. He grimaced as he popped them into his mouth, throwing his head back to down them with ease. You followed it up with a heavy spoon of cough syrup. Grayson pulled a face, about to disagree with you about taking it but one look from you and he had quietly opened his mouth, allowing you to pour the syrup from the spoon, into his mouth. He gagged as he took it in, chugging down the rest of the water to rinse the taste.

Placing a hand on his shoulder, you pushed him down, your skin scorching under his. Grayson was always warm but in this moment, he was burning up. Pulling the sheets so that they covered his body, you tucked him in before you went back into the kitchen to place the medicine box, returning with a wet cloth. Sitting back down next to him, you pressed it against his forehead, trying to absorb some of the heat.

Grayson threw an arm around you, taking you by surprise as he hauled you over and towards him.

‘Gray!’ you squealed clutching at his arms as he did, amazed at his strength, despite being down with the worst fever ever.

‘Cuddle me,’ he whined as you adjusted yourself, allowing him to rest his head on your chest, a leg flung over you, arms wrapped tight around your waist.

Laughing softly, you started running your fingers through his hair, your other hand still pressing the cold cloth to his forehead.

Breathing heavily, he snuggled closer, burying his head deeper, hot air escaping his lips and fanning over your chest as he did. Bending down a bit, you placed a chaste kiss to his temple.

‘More,’ you heard him mumble.

‘You big baby,’ you replied before you peppered him with some more fleeting kisses, across his jaw, on the tip of his nose, his cheeks, wherever you could, you kissed him.

Placing the cold compress on the table next to you, you wound your arms around Gray, your hands barely meeting as they wrapped around his broad shoulders. Gently, you placed your head atop his head, rocking him softly, unaffected by his weight on yours.

 ‘I’m sorry,’ he whispered.

‘For what?’ you quietly asked.

‘For not listening to you earlier,’ he groaned.

Chuckling, you replied, ‘It’s always the same, baby. You think you’re fine and then you’re not. I’m quite used to it by now.’

‘Well, thank you for not rubbing it in by saying I told you so,’ Gray answered.

‘Oh, I intend to! Once, you’re better, I plan on doing it incessantly,’ you replied, grinning.

Groaning even louder, Grayson tightened his arms around you.

‘Now sleep, my love,’ you spoke softly.

‘One more kiss?’ he asked.

Tilting your head, you placed your lips against his. Your hand on the nape of his neck, you kissed him softly, pulling away just as he began to deepen it.

‘Not until you’re better,’ you scolded him before leaning to the side to turn off the lamp.

Breathing out a puff of air, Gray closed his eyes, pulling your hand until it was placed atop his head. Picking up on what he wanted, you went back to running your hands through his hair, waiting for the medicines to take affect, knowing full well, they’d have him out soon. Within minutes, you felt Gray’s arms loosen around your waist, his snores yet again filling the dark of your room.

As much as you loved Grayson being all macho and tough, these rare moments when he liked being babied held a special place in your heart. You had a certain fondness for them although you wished they didn’t happen under the current circumstances. Humming, you continued to run your fingers through his hair, until sleep caught up to you as well.


Needless to say, your mother found it heart wrenchingly adorable, when she came to wake you up the next day, only to find you both nestled in each other’s arms. Your head leaned back, resting against the headboard, Grayson wrapped into your side, the majority of his body flung over yours, your arms wound around his, holding him in place. Smiling to herself, she quickly snapped a picture of the two of you, before pulling the sheets to better cover you both. Quietly closing the door behind her, she went about preparing breakfast for the two of you, her mother’s instincts at play, knowing full well, she’d have not one but two very sickly babies by the end of the day.

2

sometimes they talk while patrolling camp

[other kana nonsense]

Imagine admitting you want to marry Chris while you’re drunk.

You tumbled out of the cab and stumbled up the driveway of your boyfriend, Chris’ house. It was 2:18AM and you had just finished up at your co-worker’s bachelorette’s party, a party where you got ridiculously wasted. The original plan was for you to spend the night at your own apartment- as it was closer to the bar you were at- but after the third round of tequila shots, your urge to see the ever-so-handsome Captain America had you arriving at his doorstep instead.

You pulled out your keys and fumbled with the lock for a while before you finally opened the door. The noise drew the attention of Dodger who was now on alert and ready to pounce on the intruder. He barked once then stopped when he saw that it was you, he padded towards you and nudged his head into your hand when you reached down to pat him. You struggled to get your heels off and winced when your keys and box clutch clashed against the hardwood floor.

“Shhhh!” You told Dodger and pressed your finger to your lips, trying not to giggle. “The fossil is asleep upstairs, we can’t afford to wake him up.” Dodger tilted his head in confusion. “I could use some Fruit Loops.” You said to no one in particular and made your way to the kitchen. “Dodger, do-” You glanced back and realized the pup had made his way upstairs. “I’ll take that as a no.”

Chris was aroused from his sleep thanks to the noises you were making downstairs. He turned on his bedside lamp and glanced at the clock, wincing at the bright light; 2:23AM. He could hear Dodger scratching at his door but it was only when he heard a loud crash that he scrambled out of bed. He opened the door and Dodger barked at him before racing downstairs. Chris followed him and caught sight of your keys, heels, and clutch making a trail towards the kitchen; the only room with some of its lights on. He entered to find you trying to pick up the broken pieces of your favorite Captain America drinking glass.

“Dodger, stay.” Chris instructed him when he saw him start towards you; you looked up at them, eyes wide like a deer in the headlines. “Don’t move, Y/N.” Chris instructed you but you moved anyway. “Y/N, just- stay.” He spoke to you like he would to Dodger and you stilled. “What are you even doing here? I thought you said you were going home.”

“I thought you said this is my home.”

“I see you had a great time at Carly’s party.” He commented with a light chuckle and you nodded with a wide grin. “Hold up.” He said and reached for the light switch and turned on all the lights in the kitchen so he could have a better view of where not to step. “C'mere.”

“But you told me not to move,” you pouted like a child.

“God, you’re wasted.” He chuckled; he could smell the alcohol on you as he scooped you up off the ground. “Okay, lemme see.” He sat you down on the kitchen bench and took your hands in his so he could examined them for cuts. “Did you cut yourself?” He asked when he couldn’t find any. “Hey,” he cupped your face in his hands, “are you hurt?”

“I missed you tonight.” You told him and wrapped your arms around his neck; he chuckled softly and hugged you back, kissing the side of your head. “I wish you could’ve been there with me, it would have been a lot more fun.”

“I wish I could’ve been there with you too.” He agreed and pulled back, brushing your hair out of your face. “So I could’ve kept an eye on you and made sure you didn’t get totally hammered,” he chuckled. “I’m honestly surprised you found your way back here.”

“I can always find my way back to you, Cap.” You smiled and poked his cheek, drawing another chuckle from him. He always found drunk you incredibly amusing; it wasn’t a side he saw often as you weren’t one of those girls who partied all the time, but let’s just say that when he did- he made sure to enjoy every second of it. “I want some Fruit Loops, do you have any?” You tried to hop off the bench but he used his body to lock you into place. “What are you doing? I want Fruit Loops.”

“The last thing you need is sugar,” he said then chuckled when you pouted adorably. “Right now, you need Advil, lots of water, and- sleep. Stay up here, okay? I don’t need you cutting yourself.” You scrunched your nose and nodded. “I’m going to sweep up this mess first.”

He left you there and walked to the broom closet to grab the broom and dustpan. “Hey Chris?” He heard you call out to him from the kitchen. “Can I have my water in that glass I like?” You asked as he walked back in. “You know, that Captain America glass from Stan Lee’s team.”

“Yeah um-” He chuckled and lowered his gaze onto the said glass that was shattered on the ground. “I don’t think you can ever drink water from that glass again. Considering you broke said glass,” he reminded you and your face fell. “Exactly how much did you drink?” He squatted on the ground and swept up the glass that was fortunately empty when you dropped it.

“Lots,” you responded simply and he chuckled with a shake of his head. “Hey, where’s my phone?”

“You left it in the hallway,” he answered and you hopped off the counter. “Uh uh-” he held up a finger at you and you climbed back on the counter. “I’ll get it for you, just stay there please. You are in no state to be maneuvering around, I don’t need you to break anything else tonight.”

“What did I break?” You asked, completely forgetting about the glass you’d dropped earlier tonight.

“You are ridiculous,” he chuckled. “Just stay there.” He dumped the swept up shards into the bin then walked out into the hallway to get your clutch. He picked it up off the ground then fished out your phone and saw a text notification from your best friend, Luca, that was addressed to him.

“Hey, Chris.
Did she make it to yours okay?”

Chris responded with a quick “yeah, I’ve got her.” With your phone in his hand, he placed your clutch on the table then made his way back into the kitchen. “What are you doing?” He stood in the archway and chuckled at you; you had stripped off your red dress and was now sitting on the bench top in just your bra and panties. “Aren’t you just a sight for sore eyes?” He teased you as he walked over.

“Just out of curiosity.” You wrapped your arms around his neck as he pushed himself in between your legs and placing your phone down on the counter and his hands on your waist. “Are you going to marry me?” Your question surprised him, but made him smile nonetheless; your drunk mind was speaking for your sober heart.

“Are you going to remember this in the morning?” He asked and you thought about it for a while then nodded your head. “Yeah, I don’t think so.” He chuckled softly, rubbing small circles into your skin. “Well, since you won’t remember this- I might as well be honest with you.” You raised your eyebrows, waiting for his answer. “I am definitely going to marry you. I’ve been thinking about it since our first date, I’ve just- been waiting for the right time to ask. We’re both busy people, I want the proposal and the wedding at a time that works for the both of us.”

“Have you thought about how you’re going to propose?”

“I have,” he nodded, “numerous times. My favorite is still the cliché of taking you to a holiday cabin, cooking you dinner, and putting the ring in your dessert. I’m just a little afraid you might swallow the ring whole,” he joked and poked your side, causing you to giggle. “Why so curious? Are you afraid I wasn’t going to marry you?”

“Well- if I’m being completely honest, I guess I was a little afraid you didn’t want to marry me because I wasn’t sure about having kids.” His face fell slightly; he was a little upset with himself that he made you feel that way. “I know you like children and that they are an important part of your life plan, so yeah- I was a little afraid I wasn’t enough.”

“I’m sorry I made you feel that way,” he kissed your forehead. “You are enough, Y/N. You have no idea how much you mean to me,” he told you. “All I want is you, you are the most important part of my life plan.”

“And you’re the most important part of mine, which is why I’d gladly have children for you.” You told him for the first time in three years and he felt his heart skip a beat. “I tell people I don’t want kids because it seems scary, but with you- it doesn’t seem as scary.”

“This is by far my favorite drunk Y/N moment,” he told you with a wide smile. “Thank you for telling me that,” he gently pinched your chin between his thumb and index finger, brushing your pink lips with his thumb. “You won’t remember this but at least I know where you stand. Like you say, drunk minds speak for a sober heart.”

“I’ll remember this,” you nodded. “Give me a pen and I’ll write it on my hand.”

“No,” he chuckled with a shake of his head. “I would prefer you not to remember this ‘cause I would like the element of surprise when I propose to you. Now c'mon,” he lifted you off the bench and plopped you onto your feet. “Let’s get you an Advil and put you to bed.”

“Chris?” You grabbed his hand and pulled him back towards you when he tried to walk to the pantry to get the medicine box. “I think I’m in-love with you.” You told him and he nodded in acknowledgement, chuckling. “No, I’m serious.”

“We’ve been dating for three years and you just told me you’d have kids for me, I think I already know that.” He caressed your face and kissed your forehead. “Do you want to make any other shocking announcements? ‘Cause I really need to get you that Advil and put you to bed otherwise you’re going to be having one hell of a hangover tomorrow.”

“No,” you shook your head, letting go of his hand. “That’s the only one.” You said then grinned which made him laugh. “Can we have pancakes in the morning?” You asked as he grabbed a sachet of Advil from the box.

“You can have anything you want,” he nodded. “Take this,” he popped two pills out of the sachet and passed it to you. “Let me get you some water.” He grabbed a glass from the cabinet and filled it with the filter tap water. “Here,” he passed it to you with the instruction, “down the pills then drink it all. I don’t want to see a drop of it left in the glass.”

“You got it, Captain.” You saluted him then proceeded to do as he instructed.

“You’re going to have a lot of fun tomorrow morning,” he chuckled and kissed the top of your head.

What do we think, part 2?

Here’s my mini-series Masterlist.

anonymous asked:

What if Jamie wasn't an outlaw when he met Claire and Jamie could court her properly? How would Claire react to that when if she was still trying to get home?

Anon asked: what do you think it would have happened if Jamie and Claire didn’t have to get married? Do you think our hero could have find a way to marry the Sassenach or at least, make her fall in love with her without all the amazing sex?

Mod Note: I genuinely did not intend to continue this story (despite many requests), but I am finally bringing one of my first Imagine pieces out of the archives to explore these intriguing prompts! A bit of a slow burn on this one, but hang in there with me! -Mod Bonnie


Hail Mary

Part I  Part II


Part III

The canteen hit Jamie’s jaw squarely with a sharp THWOCK.

“A mhic an diabhoil!” he snarled, looking wildly around and finding the culprit at once. “Damn you, Murtagh, what in God’s name was that for?!”

“To see if I could get yer gob to close all the way,” the usually-dour clansman said with a smirk, arms crossed. “A wee brown-haired lass seems to have broken your hinge this morning.”

Murtagh saw the canteen coming and ducked, laughing as it clattered against the nearby tree. “Careful, ye wee smout—that’s the good whisky!”

Despite Jamie’s annoyance, the corners of his mouth were twitching as he returned to finish unlashing the bundles from his saddle; and, conveniently, returning him to the sight of Mistress Beauchamp carrying a bedroll to the place she’d claimed for her lean-to.

The man was right: Jamie hadn’t been able to stop looking at her all day: sidelong as they rode; catching her eye as they stopped for water; training his gaze on back of her head when she nudged her mount past his on the road to speak with Ned. Always and completely: she was all he saw, this day.

He had been drawn to Mistress Beauchamp from the first—when she mended his shoulder; when he held her at Leoch; but now…Christ, he was all but consumed by her; and how could he not be? Having slept with her in his arms? Remembering the scent of her hair? Now knowing the shapes of her under his hands; what it was to hear sounds of desire from her lips as she moved against him, seeking?

And above all, to know that she had stayed. Aye, she had slept in his arms, but any lass might have done the same with any man, to save her own life….but upon waking this morning, she was flustered, had made to rise, and yet at the barest suggestion, she had stayed there in his arms for nigh on an hour, waiting for the rest of camp to awaken. They both had assumed pretense of sleep, but neither of them had allowed themselves to drift away. Her breathing had stayed quick; he could feel it, warm and shallow at the base of his throat. She surely had felt his heart thudding away, with her ear resting so near it.

No, they hadn’t slept; nor had they spoken. They’d held one another

And there, at the last, he’d brought one hand—shaking—to softly, gently, slowly come to rest on the curve of her head. She’d gasped and made as if to—say something? Move?  Christ, touch him back?

And just at that moment, the camp had come alive. Before he could blink, she had gotten to her feet and the day began as it always did. Boiling water; folding, packing; bannocks and whisky; back on the long road through the glens; all just as it was every day.

But today, he couldn’t stop looking at her.

At Mistress Beauchamp, who had slept in his arms.

But God, he had to stop thinking about her. She was the finest woman he’d ever met —but he could offer her no future, as a wanted criminal. None. He wouldn’t subject her to the dangers a life with him would entail. He had to stop thinking about her.

He couldn’t stop thinking about her.

“Ye did a good thing, Jamie, lad,” Murtagh said, yanking Jamie back once more from grim reverie, deep brown eyes watching him. “Keeping the lass last night as ye did. You’re the only one that could ha’ done it for her properly.”

“Aye,” he coughed, “well, I… she….” He cleared his throat uncomfortably, unfurling his tent canvas.  “I’m glad to’ve been of service to her.”

Murtagh made a noise somewhere between a chuckle and a harrumph.

“And what’s that supposed to signify?” Jamie snapped, tugging at his stock. Hadn’t Claire nearly frozen to death last night? Then why, by Bride and all the saints, was the gathering evening so bloody HOT?

“Haud yer wheesht, lad,” Murtagh, now chuckling in earnest at Jamie’s discomfort. “Your secret doe-eyes are safe wi’ me.”

“Not doe-eyes…” Jamie muttered, feeling all of seven years of age.

“Hey.” Murtagh’s hand clapped warm on his shoulder, his eyes suddenly soft and unusually earnest. “She’s a fine woman, Jamie, Sassenach or no’.”

Aye, Jamie thought, watching the wind lift her curls into life as she rifled her wee medicine box, then made for the wood with a basket in hand, she truly is. And I can’t let myself want her.

And then the messenger rode into camp.


He waited until it was nearing sunset, when he knew she would be out gathering her wee herbs before the light went. He made for the loch under the pretext of needing a piss, seeing Murtagh watching him knowingly. Jamie knew without asking or telling that his godfather would keep an eye on the other men and prevent any from venturing in the same direction. He said a prayer, thanking God for the gift of this protector that had watched over him all his life, and continued down the path.

Sure enough, as the woods opened out into the waning crimson sunlight, he found her seated on a low boulder, looking out upon the loch, basket at her feet.

Seeing her, her unbound curls wafting sweetly in the breeze, his throat went instantly tight.

Christ, how could he do this?

Knowing her…. How could he not?

He cleared his throat and sang out with an attempt-at-cheery, “Take care no’ to fall in.”

Her head turned sharply, surprised, but a begrudging smile was already tugging at her lips. “Ned’s nowhere in sight—I think I should be safe.”

“Good,” he laughed—God, how it delighted his soul to laugh with this woman— “Best stay well shot of him.”

“But he’s such a darling!” She pursed her lips to hold back her mirth. “I’m not sure I can refuse him if he comes calling!”

“Well, do what ye must, lass,” he grinned, “I’ll be standing by to hold ye, anytime.”

She made a small sound of kind acknowledgement but looked away, suddenly shy.The silence rang between them so acutely, Jamie could hear the voices from camp, many yards distant.

“I’ve gotten some good news, Sassenach,” he said, feeling the letter in his waistcoat pocket. “I’ve…been pardoned.”

NO!” She leapt to her feet, mouth open and excitement dawning. “Oh, Jamie, that’s wonderful news!” She grabbed one of his hands in hers and squeezed it hard, practically bouncing with her enthusiasm. “God be bloody praised!!! I’m so thrilled for you! Whatever happened to bring that about?”

They sat on the boulder and he explained, grinning from ear to ear, the contents of Colum’s letter. Unbeknownst to Jamie, his uncle had been exercising all his considerable influence to get the accusations against him dropped. By some miracle, he had succeeded, and had sent a messenger at once to share the glad tidings.

Jamie read between to lines to gather that His Grace the Duke of Sandringham had been more than instrumental in getting the matter quietly resolved and Jamie’s outlaw record expunged. Jamie could just imagine the foppish gent drawling: “Anything for my DEAHHRRRR Jamie,” in those thick, unctuous tones, wet eyes glittering with anticipation.

The Duke’s predilections were well known, and such attentions had made Jamie supremely uncomfortable at the time of the man’s last visit. However, God bless him and all his house, if such affections had just saved Jamie from a life of flight and ultimately the noose. 

And ten times the blessing to him if it meant Jamie’s honor was now completely unhindered…that he was completely free to….

“What have ye been gathering, then?” he blurted, feeling his wame clenching in anxiety.

“Good Lord,” she laughed, startled, “you suddenly want to talk about herbs after such splendid news!?”

“My life is my own again,” he said, shrugging, “I want to talk about anything and everything.”

“Cress,” she said affably, nudging the basket with her foot. “Didn’t manage to bring back any last night, after all, what with one thing and another.” 

She paused suddenly, furrowing her eyebrows. She was leaning on her hand, the fingertips just inches away from his plaid on the rock. 

When she spoke, her voice was soft and full of feeling. “Thank you again for…for everything. You were so—wonderful about it all.”

Jamie felt his chest swell. “Think nothing of it, lass. You’ve saved my poor hide more times than I can count these past weeks. It was about time that I should do ye a service in return.“

“Did you get any real rest? I’m afraid I must have given you a dreadfully uncomfortable time. ”

“Och, dinna fash, lass. It was just fine.”

It was the best night of all my years, mo ghraidh.

“Mistr—”

No. Not Mistress.

Claire?”

Even sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, facing forward as they were, he could see her straighten and stiffen at the tone in his voice.

“I find meself—” he said, trying to force his lips to move at his bidding, but finding them slow and wooden,  “—that is—”

Help me, woman. See what’s in my heart. Surely ye ken it already.

Thank the Lord it came out sounding calm and clear:

I care for you, Claire.”

She stopped breathing. The breath actually left her, for more heartbeats than Jamie knew. The absence of it—that rhythm of her that he’d memorized, he now realized— was like whisky thrown on the fire within him, the flames roaring instantly up in fear and anticipation. He wanted so desperately to take her face in his hands so he might look into her golden eyes while telling her all his heart…but his hands were shaking and he didn’t think he could get out the words if he moved.

“I care for you as I’ve never cared for anyone in my life,” he said, mustering his courage only by focusing only on the wonder of the person beside him. “Your wit, your courage, your pigheadedness,” he laughed, his whole body glowing with sudden warmth. “The–” He clenched his hands in his lap, staring at them as if they held the proper words. “– life in you Claire, is unlike anything I have ever encountered. I havena been able to get ye out of my head since the first day we met. And then last night…”  

He heard her lips part and a long intake of breath, then a soft, inscrutable, “Jamie…”

“I ken I’ve perhaps no business saying such things. Even though I’m no longer a wanted criminal, I’ve no great wealth, and perhaps I’m nothing you ought to trouble o’er.“ He shook his head, hard. “But surely…surely ye ken as well as I what there is between us, Claire.”

He screwed up his courage and turned to face her. She was staring down into her lap, hands clasped. Her lips were pressed tight, her expression, for once, unreadable.

“I canna believe I’m alone in feeling it…this…whatever it is between you and me.” He laid a hand slowly and tenderly atop hers, his heart pounding.

She jumped when his hand touched hers, and with a jolt, Jamie saw that she had been twisting her golden ring round and round her finger.

Jamie stood at once and raised his hands in a gesture of apology. “Forgive me,  lass….”

Fraser, you dolt, have ye no sense to spare a thought for what the lass is going through?

“I’m so sorry, Claire,” he repeated. “I—I ken—that ye still grieve for your departed husband.”

Her lips went tight and Jamie saw her blink several times, hard.

“It…. isna right that ye should forget him, or even try to. If ye loved him, he must have been a good man. But I–I should–”

Courage, man. COURAGE.

“…It would be my honor to see to the care of his wife.”

Finally, she looked up, sharply, her eyes wide. She spoke in barely a whisper. “What?”

Will you marry me, Claire?”

She simply stared at him, in utter shock.

He went to his knees in front of her in the oath-giving posture, relinquishing all caution and all fear. He exhaled heavily with the relief of letting the feelings for her wash over him. “I care for you—"

I love you, he wanted to scream.

“—and now that I’m a free man, I wish to give ye everything I have. My name—my clan—the protection of my body….Claire, they’re all yours, now and forever.” He reached for her hand, trembling, dying to touch her. “If you’ll have me.”

“No.”

Jamie felt as though she’d pushed him backward into the icy lake. He opened and closed his mouth, unable to find the words for the pain ripping through him.

“I’m sorry, Jamie. I can’t marry you.” She bolted to her feet, took up her basket, and made quickly back toward the camp.

“Claire—please wait—I–”

This couldn’t be happening. This just couldn’t be.

He rose on shaking legs and tried to follow, reaching for her arm. “Sassenach, stop, please—I’m sorry if I was too—I just thought we—”

She threw off his hand and faced him only long enough to say coldly:

You were mistaken.”


Mistaken.

It should have been a night of celebration; should have been the most joyous occasion of his life–to know he was a free man, could go home at last. 

But it was hell, every moment, her words tormenting him as he played each memory he held of her over and over in his mind, every time they had ever spoken, touched, laughed, or cried together, culminating in the breathtaking intimacy of the previous night. Was it lust deluding him? Was it pure, lecherous desire for her body that had colored these memories and called them love?

No.

NO, damn it all!

He knew his heart. And hers—Christ, it danced across her face so freely, that—No, he was not mistaken.

Perhaps she was frightened; perhaps it was too soon.

But he was not mistaken.

It made seeing her flitting about all evening, smiling and pouring whisky liberally all ‘round the fireside — the collective mood of festivity ostensibly in honor of his pardon — all the more galling. She laughed and joked with the lads, chatted at length with Ned Gowan over documents, and generally charmed the whole camp with her golden eyes and glorious smile…everyone except him.

She’d spoken to him only once, when she offered him drink— “For you, Mr. McTavish?”— but she wouldn’t look at him.

She didn’t even know his real name. She didn’t want to know his real name.

He had wanted to drink, but hadn’t—couldn’t allow himself the escape of oblivion. This was his penance, to survive the long hours of the evening, watching her; the longer ones of silence and desolation, seething, hurting, long after the rest had fallen into their deep whisky-slumber. He needed to think with a clear head—to feel this, to understand.  

Christ, if he could only understand why…! If she felt for him as he for her, why deny him so cruelly? Claire was shrewd, but he’d never known her to be that. Surely she had some reason. Surely, if he could only speak with her…

In the dead of night, the grief and the pain nigh unbearable, his ears pricked up. Someone moving surreptitiously about camp.

Clasping his dirk, he slowly sat up high enough to survey the clearing. Geordie, supposed to be on sentry duty, was sound asleep and Jamie gave a silent prayer of thanks to see Claire moving quietly in the direction of the loch.

Tomorrow, they would reach the crossroads and meet once more with Dougal and the rest; there would be more folk for her to tend; more folk to observe their behavior; to hear about their unorthodox night together. He HAD to speak with her tonight.

He followed quietly, but when they were far enough away to be out of earshot of the sleepers, he spoke. “Sassenach?”

She jumped and whirled, and he instantly raised his hands palms forward. “I’m sorry—” he whispered. He came slowly toward her. “I’m so sorry, lass, I didna mean to frigh—” 

He froze, seeing her clearly now in the moonlight. “…You’re running.”  

It was not a question. She was wearing her traveling cloak, and the bundle she clutched clearly contained her medicine box. Her eyes were wide and her nostrils flaring with deep breaths. She was pointed toward the road, in the opposite direction of the horses.

“And on foot?” His voice was flat. Dead.

She shrugged stiffly, tensed as though ready to bolt. “Didn’t want to risk waking the men.”

“Where?” he croaked. Why?, he wanted to scream.

Her eyes were defiant, wide with alarm and determination. “Back to where I came from—same place I’ve been trying to go since Dougal took me captive.”

“Ye canna just go, Claire,” he said, trying to sound dismissive.

Her face was stone. “I can. I will.”

“Claire, I willna let ye do this.“

“Didn’t realize you were my jailer. What are you going to do, clap me in irons?” She was backing slowly away from him and his desperation was mounting with every pace.

“It’s wild country out there! Wolves and—brigands, and—” He was petrified, heartbroken, grasping at straws to keep her from vanishing. “At least–let me accompany you to your destination—see you safe!”

A sob rising in his throat. Christ, dinna leave this way.

A hoarse gasping as he reached for her.

“Please, mo chridhe–”

Ice in her eyes. “I don’t need your ‘protection,’ Mr. McTavish.”

A knife in his gut.

‘…the protection of my body, Claire…
…yours, now and forever.’

The sound of his heart breaking.

She was leaning into her frenzied defiance. “I did have a life before I fell into your lap, you know!” She realized what she’d said, blushed, and stammered angrily. “I mean—into the–hands of the whole bloody clan. I had a LIFE,” she repeated, “and I’m far past due to return to it!”

“Aye,” he said, low and precise, shaking with anger. “you’ve made it exceedingly clear that there’s nothing whatsoever keeping you here.”

She had the grace to look abashed. “Jamie…” He saw the muscles of her face and throat working furiously; the regret in her eyes. She even took a step toward him and made to touch his arm. “Jamie, please, I’m so…so sorry for—”

He shrugged back from her touch and skirted silently around the edge of camp. She followed him, hissing out his name, but he did not slow his pace until he reached the horses. He located her mount and unhobbled it, leading it a hundred yards away from the others, picking up saddle and gear as he want.

When she at last caught up with him, he plucked the bundle from her arms, fastening it perfunctorily to her saddle.

“Jamie, wait—”

Her face was upturned to him, so white and so perfect it made the pain writhe within his chest. He marshaled his features into his mask of impassivity and gave a cordial nod. “I wish ye the best of fortune in your life, Mistress.

She reached for him, pleading. “Jamie, listen, I—”

He pressed the smaller of his dirks into her hand. “Goodbye, Claire.”

And without a backward glance—though he wished to throw his arms around her and beg her, beg her not to leave—he turned on his heel back toward the fires, listening first to the silence, then the jingle of harness and the sound of hooves going quietly off into the night.

He didn’t sleep that night. He couldn’t. He lay awake, breaking apart, wrapped in a blanket that still held the scent of her hair.


[to be continued]

Under The Weather

“Hi, John. Shouldn’t you be busy with your latest number?” Root fished around through a stack of blankets in the dresser drawer.

“No, I think you’d better start without her. Shaw’s si…”

There was a dull thud behind her and she turned around.

Shaw had thrown a knife at her. Admittedly it was still in its sheath, and not so much ‘thrown’ as ‘vaguely tossed in her general direction’, but she got the message.

“Shaw’s…busy. Very busy. In fact we’re both busy. Together. Bye, John!” That should stop any further questions.

She tugged a heavy wool blanket out from the bottom of the drawer, made some half-hearted attempts at fixing the mess she’d made, and then just gave up and shoved the drawer until it mostly closed.

Shaw was a small, miserable heap under the covers on the bed and barely stirred when she added the new blanket to the pile already on top of her.

“He’s going to find out you’re sick eventually.”

There was a noncommittal grunt from under the covers, but no other response. Root sat down on the edge of the bed and gave the lump under the blankets a reassuring pat.

“I don’t know why you don’t want him to know. Everyone gets sick occasionally, Sameen.”

“I don’t.” The answer was somewhat muffled. 

The blankets shifted and rustled and Shaw peaked out and half sat up. Her nose was a little red and she was sniffling. Root fought down the urge to smile.

“Why are you still here?”

“Thought you might need someone to play fetch for you.” She gestured at the mess of tissues and empty glasses on the nightstand. “Get you refills.”

“Don’t need any help.” Her tone was sullen, but she was eyeing the empty tissue box with something approaching concern.

“Well, how about thinking of it as a mission of sorts? The Machine thinks it would be good for me to spend time putting someone else’s needs ahead of my own. Call it a learning experience.”

“Bullshit.”

It was complete bullshit, but she just shrugged helplessly at Shaw and didn’t move.

“Fine. Whatever. I’m out of water.” Shaw flopped back onto the pillows.

She downed half the glass Root brought her, curled up on her side, and pulled the blankets back over her head. There was some shuffling around until somehow Shaw’s back ended up pressed up against Root’s leg where she sat on the edge of the bed.

“Thanks.” It was barely audible from under the blankets.

“Of course.” Root smiled down at her and settled herself in more comfortably.




“Root? You in here?”

The lights were all off in the subway, but the text message Shaw had received had been pretty clear that this was where they were supposed to meet. So where was Root?

A sudden fit of coughing drew her attention to the cot near the back wall.

“Why are all the lights off?” she asked as she got closer.

Root was curled up in a ball with the thin sheet pulled over her. She was shivering enough that Shaw could tell even in the low light.

“Shaw?” Root’s voice was hoarse and she sounded puzzled, blinking a couple times like she couldn’t quite focus.

“You sick?” It was a fairly rhetorical question. Shaw leaned over to feel Root’s forehead with her hand.

“You know I love it when you go all doctor mode on me.”

Root didn’t sound very convincing, but if she could still attempt bad innuendo then she probably wasn’t in imminent danger of dying. Probably.

“You’ve got a fever. This why you texted me?”

“I texted you?” She looked genuinely confused.

“Uh, no. Never mind.” 

Apparently the Machine thought taking care of sick analogue interfaces was now part of the team mission statement. How annoying. Though that meant that Root hadn’t actually asked her for help and had been planning to just lie here being sick and miserable by herself. Which was even more annoying.

“Why didn’t you text me?” Shaw shrugged out of her coat and looked around the area. Root didn’t seem to have any sort of cold or flu medicine or even a box of tissues.

“For what?”

For some reason, all Shaw could think about was how she’d heard that sick or injured animals often hid themselves away to stay safe.

“If you’re this sick, you should ask for help.” It was probably the flu judging by the looks of her, but still.

Root was staring away across the room, not looking at her. “Never have before.”

Shaw wondered how long that stretched back for. She’d probably been on her own during her years as a hacker, but surely someone had taken care of her when she was a kid?

She sat down on the edge of the bed with a sigh, and Root immediately moved over to curl up around her, soak in her warmth.

“Do you at least have a coat around here?” Shaw asked after a few minutes.

“In the subway car.” She raised her head when Shaw stood back up. “Where’re you going?”

“I’m going to get your coat and then you’re coming back to my place. I’ve got actual working heat and medicine and stuff.”

“You don’t have to…”

“Yeah, I do.”

She walked away before Root could ask why.

After locating Root’s coat in the subway car, she stopped in front of the softly glowing monitor display.

“Thanks for the heads-up, I guess.”

There wasn’t any response, but she hadn’t really expected one. She turned away and headed back to take Root home.

gallopgallopgallopgallop

Patient: I’m achy all over and I keep getting fevers and I’m coughing a little and my head hurts.

Wayfaring thinks: Yeah, she probably has the flu.

*Wayfaring examines patient*

HEENT: fluid in the ears, nose swollen up and snotty, lymph nodes shotty.

Heart: SO FAST. SEABISCUIT GALLOPING INSIDE HER CHEST.

Lungs: Clear.

*wait what?*

Heart: fastfastfastFASTFAST

*Wayfaring tries to take pulse.*

Pulse: thready. F A S T. 

Wayfaring: Er uh, are you having any chest pain? 

Patient: No.

Wayfaring: What about shortness of breath or lightheadedness?

Patient: Well yeah, from the flu, right? I mean I feel sort of woozy like I might pass out.

Wayfaring: Ummm…. your heart is beating 175 times a minute. 

Patient: *blank stare*

Wayfaring: That’s fast. That’s like your heart is sprinting while the rest of you is standing still.

Patient: Oh yeah, it does feel kind of jumpy. 

*Wayfaring gets EKG*

EKG: 

Wayfaring: So exactly how many doses of sudafed have you taken this morning?

Patient: Oh only like 4. 

Wayfaring:

anonymous asked:

mod bonnie you're a monster with that cllif hanger. please oh please can we get the escape and the sex SOON!!

Hail Mary : Part IX

Premise: What if Jamie and Claire had 1) been more openly affectionate in those early days, and 2) not *had* to get married?

Part I  Part II  Part III Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII Part VIII


Jamie’s arm around my middle held me securely against his chest as he reigned up. His grip on me was strong, considerately preventing my lurching forward from inertia, but the added contact with his heaving chest showed he was just as exhausted as me. 

“So, wh—” Lord, this might be Scotland, and the night air cool and moist, but my mouth was dry as the Sahara. I laughed a little and leaned my head back against Jamie’s shoulder as I tried to get enough moisture to rasp out,  “Where are we, exactly?” 

“‘Exactly’ where, I dinna ken, but w—” He was a bit short of breath himself, apparently. He gave me a squeeze and a sweaty kiss on the cheek before relinquishing me to Murtagh, who was reaching to help me down from the horse. “—We crossed out of MacKenzie lands as of the last glen, so for the moment, we’re—Whoa, lass—!

My knees locked as I slipped off the horse, my feet juddering so hard onto the packed earth that I nearly toppled before Murtagh’s strong grip saved me. “Are ye alright, a nighean?”

I just stared at him. 

Jamie shifted sharply in the saddle to check that I was alright. “Mo chridhe?” 

“Fine,” I panted. I was fine; but the shock of hearing an endearment coming from the ever-dour Murtagh’s lips, his eyes warm with concern, even, had taken me considerably aback. A softy, underneath it all, eh? “Perfectly fine,” I said again, waving my hand in reassurance, “just tired.”

Jamie jumped down beside me and took the satchel from my hands. “Go have a bit of a rest, Sassenach, while we tend to the horses.” 

I didn’t need telling twice. I found a grassy spot and stretched full length on my back, groaning in relief and draping my arm over my face against harsh moonlight. 

We’d ridden for nearly twenty-four hours since our escape from Leoch, which had been no small feat in and of itself. 


A guard had begun stalking Jamie scarce twenty minutes after the confrontation with Colum. The brute—hulking, even compared to Jamie, if it could be believed—had been a faithful, menacing shadow for the entire afternoon and evening, escorting Jamie firmly to his chamber when night fell, and neatly preventing any contact between Jamie and me. 

Thankfully for all of us, Colum had not deemed it necessary to post a guard at MY door.  All Jamie had had to do was wait for the dark of midnight, clamber out his fourth-floor window, and climb CAREFULLY up the stone wall of the keep. He’d had one near-fall, sending a shower of stone dust and mortar chips downward; but thankfully, attracted no attention as he clambered up to the roof, and entered the castle again through a garret window to make his way to my chamber. 

Murtagh—with whom Jamie had had several vital minutes as he was leaving Colum’s tower—had not been assigned an obvious tail, and thus had been able to gather food and weapons for our flight. Jamie hadn’t dared risk having Murtagh speak to or otherwise get word to me, in case Colum had hidden eyes watching after all. They had, however, arranged for the torches between my chamber and the window to the east-wing roof to be prematurely extinguished, giving Jamie and me the cover of near-pitch-blackness in which to make our way to the roof. We’d had to dart hastily into an alcove as a pair of Grant retainers came down the hall, speaking of the next day’s ceremony and making bets on whether or not Edina Grant would faint (as, we were given to understand, she had a rather sickly constitution). But finally we made it to our escape hatch. Out the window we went, down a ten-foot drop to the roof of the wing below, a painstaking walk across the shadowed gable, and another drop to the yard below. 

It all would have gone off without a hitch, if the ostensibly-convenient stack of crates we were climbing down hadn’t toppled, causing a ruckus that attracted first the guard dogs and then the guards themselves. Jamie had managed to knock the three men out, but we could hear the alarm being raised and the thundering of many booted feet as we sprinted for the outer door, where Murtagh was waiting just outside. He’d managed only two horses, but beggars and choosers, and all that; and we were galloping south with all due haste, leaving the walls of Leoch behind, and praying we could stay ahead of any of Colum’s men that would be dispatched to follow us….which, thank heaven, we had.  


Jamie thudded onto the ground next to me and groaned as he stretched out onto his back, his boots a few inches from my elbow. 

I rolled onto my stomach to give my aching rear end a break, laying my cheek on my crossed arms and feeling the night breeze ruffling through my hair. My head was spinning with the delirium of exhaustion, and I prayed this would be a LONG rest. The three or four respites we’d taken so far had been agonizingly short, time enough only to spare the horses keeling over. And if I was weary and aching, Jamie must be near to keeling over himself, having had the task of controlling the horse one-handed AND keeping a hold on me to keep me falling when I inevitably dozed off against his shoulder.

Sure enough, he groaned again, with an urgency and a Gaelic curse that spoke to a great deal of discomfort.

“Love?” I reached out a leaden hand to touch his foot, cursing that my medicine box had been (wisely) deemed too heavy to bring along, “Have you pulled something?”

“D’ye have any notion,” he said between gritted teeth, “of how your arse looks in those breeks?”

Fatigue be damned, this was WORTH IT. I came up on my arms and craned my neck around to grin at him. He was propped up on one arm, staring in definite distress at the item in question.

Jamie being Jamie, I had been rather startled that he had suggested trousers in the first place; but practicality, it seemed, had won out over propriety. It would have been a liability to all of us, to have me slowed by heavy skirts on our escape. 

Apparently, the breeks were their own sort of liability, though.  I spy, with my little eye, a not-so-little kilt tent. 

“Good, is it?” I asked, trying my very hardest not to laugh….or ogle…and failing at both. Definitely not little.

Jesus,” he said again, in what might have been considered a whimper.

You know, you *have* undressed me completely, before, lad,I thought about saying; but I couldn’t help feeling gratified at his apparent awe. It was a father fine arse, by all accounts. And,might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. I gave my rear end a rather lewd undulation and he swore so violently it scared the horses.

Cuir stad, lad, you’ll wake the dead!” Murtagh scolded, emerging from the underbrush with our refilled canteens and turning his gimlet eye on me. “What in God’s name did ye DO to him?”

Jamie laughed and sat up. “All the right things, a charaid.

I sat up too, gratefully accepting my replenished canteen, changing the subject as well as my posture to spare Jamie from squirming himself into an early grave. “So, we’re safe, now? The MacKenzies can’t pursue us outside their own lands?”

“Not wi’out exposing themselves to a great deal of risk,” Murtagh said, plunking down next to us. “Colum’s enraged, to be sure, but he’ll have enough on his hands wi’ the Grants to consider doing anythin’ to vex another clan in the process.”  

“Lord, the poor Grants,” I laughed, groaning a bit. “They’ve gotten the short end of the stick, haven’t they?” 

Jamie’s mouth tightened, an expression I’d come to know meant he was supremely uncomfortable. “I did leave a letter in my chamber, ken?”

“A letter?” Murtagh and I both said together. 

“To Miss Grant,” he said, with a tight shrug. “Explaining that my flight had naught to do wi’ her, but only that my heart belonged to another.” 

I smiled. “That was very considerate of you, darling.”

“Aye, and also hopefully t’will appease Malcolm Grant that Colum didna willfully seek to ensnare him and shame his daughter.”

“Do you think your uncles will ever let you come back to Leoch?”

“No.” It was Murtagh that answered, his voice grim. “Not if his mother’s case is to be our guide.”

Jamie nodded in agreement and dropped his eyes.

Ellen MacKenzie had never once received even a word from her enraged brothers after her scandalous elopement with Black Brian Fraser. Dougal had apparently visited Lallybroch a time or two after her death, and had eventually taken Jamie for his foster, but from the moment she left that castle, Ellen’s fate had been sealed: exiled and infamous. 

It had been love for Ellen and Brian, Jamie said, real and deep and strong, and so she never had cause to regret her decision; and yet…

I scooted closer to her son and leaned in to kiss his shoulder. “I am sorry, you know—to be the cause of your entire life upending.”

Jamie raised his eyebrows, dubious.

“Well, it’s not as if I want you to cast me to the roadside, do I? But they are your family. I know they don’t mean nothing to you.”

“True…and thank you, Sassenach. But to the MacKenzies, family is obligation as much as affection. Heart, but with claws.” He pulled me close and kissed the top of my head. “Dinna fash: I dinna regret a thing.” 

“Well, I know you don’t now, but — ” 

“They’re my blood, but my true family is Jenny. Murtagh.” He squeezed my hand hard. “You.”

The lump formed so suddenly in my throat, I could only whisper it back to him. “You.”  

My only family. 

He gently cupped my chin and kissed me, then drew back with purpose, catching his godfather’s eye. “I ken you’re as tired as we, a gostadh, but surely ye must be getting on your way if you’re to catch the post rider?”

The dour clansman nodded and got to his feet. “I’ll be off in ten minutes, as soon as the handfasting is done.”

Jamie was like a loosed arrow as he leapt to his feet, barking something at Murtagh in rapid Gaelic.  Murtagh threw up his face and said something scornful back in the same language, and even my brief time amongst eighteenth-century highlanders had taught me the early warning signs of an all-out brawl. 

“Jesus H. Christ, honestly!” I stepped neatly between them—getting a prodigious spray of spittle from both sides for my efforts—and held up my hands. “Will you both calm down and PLEASE explain to me what handfasting is?”

“Handfasting is—” Murtagh began.

“—nothing you need trouble yourself over, because it’s NOT HAPPENING,” Jamie finished, eyes flashing at Murtagh across my shoulder.

“—A CEREMONY OF MARRIAGE,” Murtagh persisted, “for when there’s no priest handy. Ye join hands, say the words, and you’re man and wife for a year and a day, until the union can be formally blessed.”

“And it’s real? A legitimate union, I mean, according to the church?” 

“Aye,” he said, seeming surprised by my doubt. “Valid only for the year, but valid nonetheless. Common enough in the Highlands so as no’ to looked down upon.” 

“We are not going to be handfasted,” Jamie growled, “and that’s all there—”

“But of course we should!” I said. “Jamie, you said it yourself at Leoch: being married as soon as possible is the next most important thing for our safety, yes?”

“Aye, but—” He shuffled uncomfortably. “It’s so—crude! Ye deserve a ring—a proper dress for—”

“I don’t bloody need all that!“ I said with such laughing scorn that he looked startled. “Jamie… I’ve been married before,” I said, far more gently. “The ring, the clothes—? Those things can be lovely, but they aren’t important to me. But if…” I searched his face, not wanting to be flippant. “Are they important to you?”

“Well, aye, in a way but — They’re only important insomuch as—” He was flustered, almost sheepish in his unease as he ran a hand backward through his hair.  “I should never wish to give ye anything less than is due to ye. I want to honor ye, Sassenach.”

“You do honor me, Jamie, just by wanting to marry me. That’s all I need.” 

He looked torn.  “I ken you’re a practical woman, Claire, and ye wish to put a good face on things, but—”

“But I do mean it, my love. No, listen,” I pushed, as he began to interrupt. “If I had been Edina Grant, say, a stranger you were OBLIGED to marry…just think of how different the wedding would need to be. The ring, our clothing, the place—that all would be significant, because–”

“Because we wouldna be knowing each other?” Jamie said, his features relaxing.

I exhaled in relief at the understanding in his voice. “Exactly.”

“I’d be a stranger you were meeting at the altar,” he continued, nodding slowly. 

“And so the protocol, the finery and beauty of it all,” I took up, “That would be what we’d remember about our wedding. We’d need that to hold on to, to make it a pleasant memory.” 

“….Until we might come to love or respect one another, one day,” he finished.

“But you do know me, Jamie: you know me. And you know I want to marry you.” I touched his face, sweeping down the stubble of his jaw. “And so the love we share is what we’ll remember about tonight. Nothing else matters.”

“Nothing else,” he repeated, his eyes twinkling and his mouth turned up in a tender smile, “mo nighean donn.”

And so it truly didn’t matter that we were both sweaty and reeking of horse as I came into his arms; didn’t matter that I was dressed like a little boy, or that my hair had reached the size and texture of the average haystack. All that mattered was that he meant it when he whispered, hoarse with feeling, “I do love you, Claire.” 

And that there was no reservation in my heart when I looked up into his eyes and said back to him, “And I love you.” 

“And if ye’re both quite finished breathing into each other’s faces,” Murtagh said, belching, “we’ll get on wi’ it?”


It was fast; it was simple—with not a scrap of either pomp or circumstance. We simply knelt, clasped hands, and said the words with Murtagh as witness. 

And yet, even so, a deep, silent peace descended around us, wrapping each syllable in a sweet solemnity that would mark this place, this night in our memories, always: 

“I, Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp do take thee, James Alexander M—” He grinned, but I managed it, and the spell fell around us again. “—Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, to be my lawful wedded husband. With my goods I thee endow, with my body I thee worship, in sickness and in health, in richness and in poverty, so long as we both shall live.”

His eyes blazed as he swore his life to me in return. “I, James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, do take thee, Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp, to be my lawful wedded wife. With my goods I thee endow, with my body I thee worship, in sickness and in health, in richness and in poverty, so long as we both shall live.”

And I kissed him, kissed him, kissed him, and felt the world slide, then click into place. 

A pair.

A home. 


Jamie didn’t let go of my hand for a moment during our toast (for not even a fugitive Scotsman travels without whisky), nor did either of us stop grinning like fools in love. Husband. Wife. 

Not even Murtagh was unaffected. For all he tried to hide behind his gruff and scruff, I’d seen his eyes sparkling as he looked down at Jamie and me saying our vows; I’d felt the feeling behind the rough hug he’d given me; and I’d been floored by the hoarseness of his voice as he’d said in my ear, “You’re right for him, a nighean.” And that made me feel an absolute empress over my happiness. Right for him; right for me; right. 

“We’ll stay the night here,” Jamie said with decision, reaching up for his saddlebag. 

But Murtagh said something in rapid Gaelic as he swung up into his saddle, gesturing to the east. Jamie grinned, asked something back, and got an answer that seemed to both surprise and please him greatly before Murtagh was galloping off into the distance.

“What was that about?”

“Murtagh knows of a better place for us to spend the night.” He held out his hand. “Can ye bear to ride a bit longer, my wife?”

I accepted the boost up into the saddle. “If it’s worth it, darling husband.” 

“Sounds as if it will be,” he said as he clambered up behind us and turned us east. “And it’s good it isna far.“

“Tired?”

“Aye. And…” He ran his fingers down my rib cage and my blood went hot as he breathed into my shoulder, “…I’d like to get started wi’ worshiping your body.”

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2

They were totally talking shit about the party goers.
Not quite royal, but I am a sucker for masquerade stuff, and I am in a Mahri drawing mood lately.   Let’s pretend she’s being paid to steal a deed or something like that. 


Sorry for such a late response, I am trash sometimes _ノ乙(、ン、)_

Sometimes you read a question relating to Columbine that stumps you for a while, until you’re suddenly reminded of one itty bitty detail that forms your only answer to the thing being asked. A while back, I read a question elsewhere concerning what personal effect of the boys you’d pay any amount of money for to get in your possession. At first, I thought my answer would be ‘nothing’.. and then I reread a passage in Krabbé’s “We Are But We Aren’t Psycho” that changed my mind. The passage detailed something Eric had carried on his body on 4/20 that was seemingly insignificant in comparison with all the other stuff the boys carried with them that day. Yet, it is one of the very few personal effects he bothered to carry with him at all. I don’t know what it is about this one item, but it just gives off such an 'Eric-vibe’ that I’d love to just hold it in my hands and twirl it round and round and connect with the boy’s mind for a second again. Below is the passage that halted me in my tracks, because it speaks such volumes about a significant part of Eric’s character I have rambled about before. Pictured above, encircled, is the tiny item in question.

They found 'a block of wood with a hole in it’, as police described the item, in the right pocket of Eric’s pants. It was later seen in the exhibit of the evidence.
In his essay that Eric had written at the start of his senior year, entitled '25 things that make me different’, he put something of interest in fifth place: “my berserk and zippo that I always carry in my right pocket”. He’d drawn a lighter (zippo) and, next to this, the same “block of wood with a hole in it” in yearbook writings to Dylan and another friend. That block of wood with a hole in it was nothing other than Eric’s berserk.
But what is a berserk? The word originates from the Norse sagas in which battle-frenzied warriors slip into a trance-like state in order to conquer enemies in battle – it was also the foundation for the English word “berserk”. But in Doom, the game Eric called 'my actual life’, there is also a berserk. It’s a sort of black medicine box that you can pick up, after which the screen is covered in a red haze. Your health will return to maximum, and the punches of your fists will get extra power.
Eric’s block of wood was the berserk he always carried on his body – a talisman that would grant him invincibility.

- when Stan is sick, Mike visits him with tuppaware boxes of soup and those lil heat packs

- He knows that Stan hates messiness so on the days where he’s too tired to clean his room / general tidy up, Mike does it for him and Stan points out where things should go and thanks him repeatedly

- Mike keeps bottled water in a cooler box and medicines by the bed so he doesn’t have to leave him when he needs something

- Stan is a Big Baby when he’s feeling sick, he usually doesn’t like being touched but he cuddles up to Mike constantly, passing it off like ‘shut up ur warm and I’m cold smh’ but when Mike is playing with his hair or stroking the side of his face he feels weightless

- Stan can get groggy and crabby but Mike knows he’s appreciative of him being there, so he stays patient and calm with him

- They love each other and would do anything for one another thank u

Collision Course - Part Ten

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven,
Part Eight, Part Nine

This is the last installment save for the Epilogue. I hope you all have enjoyed the ride. - Mod Lenny


Ian insisted Jamie ride out with him to look over the fields and give his opinions.

“Ian, I ken ye know what ye’re about wi’ runnin’ the estate,” Jamie finally interrupted as they sat on their horses looking out over a field of flourishing barley. “And it doesna matter that ye brought me out here away from the house and Jenny––I’m no tellin’ ye about what happened. I said I didna want to talk about it and I’m no goin’ to. It doesna matter anymore anyway. Murtagh will be back today or the next and then I’ll be off again.”

“And will ye be sending us as little word of where ye are or what ye’re about as ye did before?” Ian asked with a scolding edge that would have left Jamie feeling ashamed if he weren’t still so numb. “Whatever it is that’s happened to ye this last… it doesna excuse yer silence the last four years.”

“I told ye what Dougal told me about Jenny,” Jamie objected.

“That explains it; it doesna excuse it,” Ian clarified. “Jenny and I will take care of Lallybroch as if it were our own and ye ken that well; it’s been her home longer than it’s been yers. But I think we both deserve a bit of honesty from ye, aye? A bit more respect than what ye’ve shown.”

“Ye’re startin’ to sound like Jenny,” Jamie remarked, the corner of his mouth ticking up a fraction.

“No, Jenny would have called ye a stubborn and ungrateful arse.”

“She already did. Ye were off dealin’ wi’ Ross the smith, gettin’ him to reshoe my horse.” Jamie reached down to pat Dóchas’ neck and the horse stamped her foot and raised her head, shaking it like a nod.

Ian sat straighter in his saddle, squinting in the direction of the house. “Ye said Murtagh ought to be back today?” Ian asked, settling down again.

“Aye.” Jamie peered in the direction Ian had been looking, raising his hand to shield his eyes from the sun.

“Was he off to fetch someone for ye?”

There were two riders slowing on the road as they approached Lallybroch’s main yard in the distance.

“Claire?” Jamie breathed, his heart breaking into an excited gallop as he turned Dóchas back the way they’d come and spurred her forward.


As soon as they entered the yard, Claire began calling for Jamie.

Murtagh dismounted and walked over to help Claire down from her horse while her eyes scanned the windows of the large stone building––Lallybroch.

“Jamie!” Claire called heading for the door.

A young boy darted out from it in front of her soon followed by a woman about Claire’s own age, shorter and her hair darker and sleeker.

“Get back inside ye wee––” Jenny scolded her son before spotting Claire and stopping abruptly in her pursuit. “Oh… And… who might you be?” Suspicion lay heavy in her voice and she crossed her arms over her chest.

“I’m looking for Jamie,” Claire said quickly, her attention flitting from Jenny to the child to Murtagh where he had already unpacked her medicine box and had the horses by the reins, leading them toward the stables. “My name is Claire… Claire Fraser.”

“Fraser?” Jenny’s suspicion visibly turned to bewilderment and her focus shifted from Claire to Murtagh.

“Are you Jenny? You are. You’re his sister, aren’t you?” Claire said desperately and with relief as she stepped forward. “Where is he? Where’s Jamie?”

“And you, Murtagh,” Jenny said loudly, ignoring Claire and getting Murtagh to stop and face her. “Where do ye think ye’re sneakin’ off to? Is this lass… is she sayin’ she’s  Jamie’s wife?”

From the other side of the yard came the sounds of two horses approaching and Jamie’s loud cries of, “Claire!”

“Jamie?!” Claire screamed trying not to trip over her skirts as she ran towards the noise.

“Claire!” Jamie cried as he was off Dóchas before the horse had come to a safe stop.

As Claire threw herself into Jamie’s arms, the rest of the world fell away. Tears of joy and relief streamed down her cheeks and soaked into his coat where she buried her face. She could feel him murmuring her name in disbelief into her hair as they took a few moments to just soak each other in.

“Why, Claire?” Jamie finally asked pulling back from her to look at her face. She could see the wetness in his eyes, the confusion and the relief. “Why did ye no go?”

“I couldn’t,” she said simply, raising a hand to cup his cheek. His eyes fluttered shut as he leaned into her touch.

“I’m sorry, lass,” he whispered.

“What? No, I didn’t mean… I meant I couldn’t leave you––I didn’t want to. I was there with Frank at the stones but when the moment came… I couldn’t make myself do it. I chose to stay here… I choose you,” she murmured, her hand slipping back into his hair, taking a firm hold.

“Me? Ye mean…”

She swallowed hard against the butterflies crawling their way up from her stomach. “I love you,” she whispered.

There was a flicker in Jamie’s glistening eyes that might have been surprise before he bent his forehead to hers. “And I… love you,” he whispered back, then rubbed the tip of his nose down the length of hers before kissing her in a way that made every hair on her body stand on end as it shivered through her down to her toes.

They gradually became aware of Murtagh clearing his throat loudly. He gave Jamie a nod towards Jenny and Ian before turning to continue bringing the horses to the stables, his beard barely concealing his satisfied smile.

“Would ye care to introduce us?” Jenny suggested with unveiled impatience. Ian made a noise of embarrassment or rebuke beside her.

“Right,” Jamie started out of his reverie. He gently slipped his hand into Claire’s, twining their fingers together tightly as he led her over to his family. “Jenny… Ian… This is Claire… my wife. I told ye about Jenny, Sassenach; Ian is her husband. We were lads together––and fought in France just after my Da passed.”

Claire reached a hand towards Ian who glanced briefly at Jamie before shaking it and nodding a welcome to Claire.

“And you’re expecting,” Claire nodded down to Jenny’s belly where the subtle swell could still easily be overlooked. It quickly became apparent that Jamie hadn’t noticed. “When are you due?”

“No till after the harvest comes in,” Jenny admitted, flushing under Jamie’s stunned gaze. “Come inside wi’ ye then. Ye’ve been on the road some time, I can see. Will do ye good to be able to wash and get something warm in yer belly. When ye’ve had a chance to settle, perhaps you can tell us a bit about where ye come from and just how ye come to be married to Jamie here.”

Jamie showed Claire up to his rooms and stayed with her while she tidied herself and they devised a story that would hopefully satisfy Jenny and Ian. Over an early supper and with Murtagh contributing through nods and grunts of confirmation, Jamie and Claire fumbled their way through as much of the truth as they dared share. The circumstances of Claire’s arrival at Leoch and surrounding their wedding remained intact.

“We stumbled on some Red Coats––likely those searching for the deserters I’d… disposed of,” Jamie explained, looking to Claire for support. “It was chance as much as anything that Captain Randall wasna among them when we met them but we figured it was likely just a matter of time before word reached him of meeting us and the bodies of the deserters were discovered.”

“We were afraid that the Captain would see it as an opportunity to be seized––pin more crimes on Jamie and take me in as well as some sort of accomplice,” Claire said, her nerves making her talk faster than usual.

“I told her she go to her late husband’s family, that they’d likely be better able to protect her than I could if the price on my head grew… So I left her behind wi’ Murtagh to see her off. I thought it would be safer should I go and perhaps draw the Red Coats after me.”

“But when it came down to it… I don’t know them to trust them and… Jamie’s my husband now. Where he goes, I go,” Claire explained, her focus rooted in Jamie’s eyes.

They were too absorbed in each other to notice the looks Jenny and Ian exchanged across the table. From the set of Jenny’s mouth, it was obvious that she didn’t believe a fraction of the tale they told. But glancing back from the Laird and his Lady to her own husband, Jenny’s expression softened to match Ian’s.

Jamie was an entirely different man from the one he’d been that morning. The cloud that had hung about him since he’d reappeared was gone; there was a light in his eyes and she couldn’t recall the last time she’d seen him smile so much––possibly not since their brother had been alive. There was a similar light in this woman’s––Claire’s––face when she looked at Jamie. Whatever they were hiding, Jenny decided it didn’t matter; what mattered to her was that her brother was home and happy, even if he would be leaving again soon.

Jamie and Claire retired to their room shortly after supper, pleading Claire’s need to rest and recover from her journey––returning from Craigh na Dun had taken half as long in Claire’s eagerness to be with Jamie again.

The door had only just closed behind them before they were in each other’s arms again, tugging at clothes and moving naturally toward the bed. The mattress was suddenly there pressing against the backs of Claire’s legs. She sat and hitched one leg up on the frame so that her skirts started falling away as she reached for Jamie’s belt. His arousal was already prominent beneath the soft, worn wool of his kilt. He took hold of her wrists and stalled her.

“No, Claire.” His voice was low and rough. “No like this. I’ll have ye naked.” Letting her wrists go, he set to work loosening the knot at the top of her bodice. She leaned back on the bed and succumbed to the feel of his hands working over her as he slowly stripped away each layer she wore.

As her last petticoat fell, she moved to stand reaching for the clasp of his belt once more. “Now you,” she told him. From the belt she moved to the buttons of his waistcoat, smoothing the fabric down his torso with her hands first.

At last, Jamie raised Claire’s shift up and over her head then reached up and pulled the pins and ties from her hair until he could bury his fingers in it. She caught his wrist as he traced the curl of one thick tendril from root to tip. Turning his wrist around, her thumb found the freshly healed scar from where Dougal’s blade had sliced the skin. The line it made was clean compared to the rough scabs of the scratches and scrapes from his accident in the woods.

“Blood of my blood,” Claire said quietly, tracing the fine line.

Jamie brought that same hand to her chin, his thumb running along the line of her jaw as her fingers continued to massage the flesh of his wrist and hand.

“Bone of my bone,” he whispered in response before bending to kiss her.

His hands were eager as they ran down the soft curves of her body before tightening around her waist and lifting her off the ground. She clung tight to his back as he bore her down on the bed, settling between her legs but keeping his weight on his forearms on either side of her.

She trailed her fingers up and down his spine, delighting as he shivered. The heat from his body––balanced so carefully above hers but barely skimming her surface––enveloped her and penetrated her, warming her bones as she was aware of the solid heaviness of him between her legs.

“I give you my body,” she whispered, spreading her legs wider and arching towards him, gasping as he pressed back against her and filled her. “That we two may be one,” she finished, her voice fainter than before.

Jamie caressed her cheek while staying still as long as he could within her. “I give ye my spirit,” he whispered, his eyes locked on hers while tracing the shape of her ear and then from her earlobe down along her neck, “till our life shall be done.”

He started to move as he bent his head to kiss her again, capturing her sigh before it could leave her lips.

“Ye’re mine,” he told her, punctuating the statement with a deep rock into her. “Mine alone… mine forever.”

“Yes,” Claire panted in agreement, her fingers digging into the firm, tight flesh of his lower back, her legs twining with his.

“My wife… my Sassenach,” Jamie grunted, his pace increasing as he drove himself harder and Claire’s hands drifted lower to the flexing muscles of his buttocks, her fingernails digging hard enough to leave marks.

“Yes,” she panted again.

“Mo nighean donn… mo chridhe… mo graidh,” he continued in Gaelic.

“Yes… And what about… you?” she sighed. “Who… do you… belong to?”

“You, Sassenach,” Jamie said, pressing his forehead to hers as he bit his lip and changed his rhythm yet again, slowing himself to stave off his release until he could bring her with him. “I’m yers… for always.”

Claire cried out as her thighs suddenly clenched around his hips, trapping him deep within her as her self shattered and scattered, leaving her trembling next to the exposed rawness of Jamie’s shattered self. She saw only him looking deep into the very soul of her as the throbbing pulse of their bodies synchronized from the blood in their veins to the breath in their lungs.

The sweat began to cool on her breasts and stomach sending a shuddering chill through her flesh.

This was why she couldn’t go, what she needed so desperately it was worth sacrificing everything and everyone she’d known in her time. It couldn’t be explained, it could only be experienced, and she’d only ever experienced it with Jamie. The recognition in his eyes, the understanding…

Claire raised her head without taking her eyes off of him until her lips met his, tender and warm, a little wet as his tongue darted out to taste her.

“I love you.”

Tha gaol agam ort.

5

Michael x Reader

Requested by Anon


“Michael.” You gasped when you opened the door.

“Hi sweetheart.” He said softly, his voice cracked and horse.

You took in the bruises and the lumps that dusted his jaw and neck, his head was still bleeding. Neither of you moved, unsure what to do or say, the last time you’d seen each other you yelled at him to get out of Tommy’s way before something bad happened.

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The Blue Sick Boy

An Ethan fiiiic! 
Having a stomach bug is not fun. Sorry, little blue-berry, but you must suffer for our entertainment! Muwhaha!

Fic Request: 
“Oooo can we get a story where Ethan gets a stomach bug and the reader and the rest of Teamiplier can help him feel better?” 

Originally posted by amynelsons

You were woken up around 2am to the sounds of someone sprinting to the bathroom and throwing up their stomach. 
Blinking away the sleep, you rolled out of bed and made your way to the bathroom where Ethan was bent over the toilet seat. 
“Hey, you ok?” You mumbled tiredly. 
Ethan groaned, he sounded far from ok. “I think I ate something funny.” 
You flicked on the light and crouched beside him, ignoring the heaving sounds and terrible smell coming from the toilet bowl. 
You rubbed his back, moving his hair out of his face and feeling his forehead. 
“You’re burning up, Ethan,” You said worriedly. 
“I’m ok,” He groaned. His body arched as another wave of bile escaped his body. “Maybe not.”
“Everything ok?” You heard a husky voice asked. 
You turned to see Mark squinting at you through his drowsiness. Amy was beside him, wrapped in her pjs looking at Ethan worriedly. 
“Is he sick?” Amy asked, moving to join you by Ethan. 
“His forehead’s really warm,” You told them. Patting his back as he upchucked again. “I think he might have some sort of bug.” 
“I’ll get a bucket to put by his bed,” Mark said, stumbling away from the bathroom. 
“No, I’m ok.” Ethan said, waving away Amy’s hand. “I just need to get this food out of me and I’ll go back to bed.” He sniffled and turned to look at the two of you. He was pale and sweaty, exhaustion tugged at his eyes as he blinked at you. 
“Sorry for waking all of you,” He mumbled and you grinned kindly at him. 
“It’s alright,” You told him. “We all get sick.” 
Tyler emerged at the door, a washcloth and a box of medicine in his hands. 
“Mark said Ethan was sick,” He said. His hair in all directions. “I brought these for him.” 
Amy smiled her thank and took them from Tyler. She dampened the cloth and wiped the sweat from Ethan’s forehead, holding the cool material against his head. 
“Jeez, Ethan, you’re really burning up.” Amy commented. 
You continued to rub his back as more stomach contents made it’s way into the bowl. 

Mark came back with a bucket and some towels, “Do you need help getting him to bed? 
You shook your head, “It’ll be fine, I’ll sit here with him for a bit longer.” 
“We’ll go clean up any messes in his room,” Tyler said and the boys disappeared. 
“You guys don’t need to worry about me. Really.” Ethan coughed gently. 
Amy scoffed gently, jokingly glaring at him. “What are we meant to do? Leave you with your head in a toilet?” 
“I can sleep here,” Ethan grinned weakly. “The bathroom mat is soft.” 
You chuckled, “You’re not sleeping in the bathroom.” 
“But what if I throw up in my room?” He asked. 
“That’s what the bucket is for, silly.” Amy told him. “And the towel so you don’t get any on your bed-sheets.” 
Ethan moaned again, his eyes closing in pain. “This headache is killing me.” 
“I’ll go get a glass of water,” You told them. You made your way to the kitchen, filling a cup of water and returning down the hallway to find Mark helping Ethan to his room. 
Tyler was in front of them, holding the bucket in case of another nausea attack. 
“Guys, really, you don’t need to do all this for me.” Ethan whined as Mark lowered him onto the mattress. Towels had covered one side of the bed where Ethan slept. And Tyler placed the bucket by his head and a box of tissues on his nightstand. 
“Stop complaining and lie down,” Mark gently scolded. 
Ethan collapsed against the pillows. His eyes instantly closing and sleep took him as soon as he was vertical. 
“Someone should stay with him,” Tyler said. “I don’t want him to choke on his own vomit.” 
“I’ll stay,” You volunteered. “I’m already awake. I’ll go get my phone and watch Youtube or something.” 
Everyone nodded and returned to bed, leaving you to get your phone and headphones. You crawled onto the other side of Ethan’s bed and sat against the headboard. 
Ten minutes into a video, you felt movement beside you, and you looked down at to see Ethan had turned towards you and was snuggling against your legs. 
“I don’t feel good,” You heard him muttered with a groan. 
“Lean the other way,” You told him. “There’s a bucket you can throw up in.” 
He mumbled something but didn’t move. You returned to video and waited out the rest of the night. 

Up until morning, Ethan had thrown up twice while you were sitting beside him. 
You had wiped his forehead with the damp cloth and made him drink a little water to keep him hydrated. 
Tyler was up first, checking in on the two of you and asking if you needed anything. 
Amy and Mark brought you breakfast. Amy coddled Ethan into eating a little bit of toast and some juice to get some sugar into him. 
He threw that up minutes later. 
Later in the day Kathryn arrived with medicine for him. He reluctantly swallowed the pills and tried eating a little more toast. 
He slept most of the time, and you able to leave him for a little bit till he called out for someone. 
You and Amy answered him, since Mark was recording, Kathryn was editing and Tyler had gone to the shops. 
“Can you guys, make a little video for my channel, explaining I’m sick?” He asked. “Or maybe set it up somewhere so I can record?” 
“You’re not leaving this bed,”  Amy said firmly. “We’ll tell everyone that you’re sick. Don’t worry, they’ll understand.” 
“Thanks guys,” He mumbled, eyes fluttering close. “You’re the best.” 
The video had been short and sweet. Amy allowed you to film the video, since you were more on Ethan’s channel than she was. 
You explained that poor little Ethan was sick and he’ll be taking a few days off to recover. 
“You guys really don’t want to see it,” You said with a disgusted face. “There’s alien juices and glowing saliva. His forehead is so hot there’s smoke coming out of his ears!” You chuckled to yourself. “But in all seriousness, we’re taking care of him, so send him lots of hugs and good messages! He’s feeling terrible about being sick and leaving you all out without content.” 

Two days after you released the video, Ethan was bouncing around the house, bursting with energy. 
“I feel so alive!” He yelled as he ran around outside with Chica galloping behind him. “Oh sweet sunshine! Fresh air! Fuck you, illness! I kicked your ass!” 
You laughed along with everyone else, finding his energy contagious. 
Ethan recorded an apology video for his channel, explaining in detail what it was like to be sick. 
“But everyone here was nice enough to play nurse,” He laughed. “I have (Y/N)  to thank, especially. Because they always made sure I was drinking water. They were shoving medicine down my throat and forcing nutrient into my stomach. So, thank you (Y/N) for that! I’ll be sure to return the favor when you’re sick.”
And behold, you were sick four days later.