michael's domain

anonymous asked: OMG GOTHAM I just read your latest Vietnam AU ficlet and you CANNOT leave us like this with that cliffhanger! Please say you have another installment coming asap! P.S your blog and all you mods over at Imagine are making this Droughtlander a lot easier to get through :)

Vietnam AU

Jamie carefully balanced the tray as he ascended the stairs, bare fleet sliding along the worn wood boards hewn by his six times great-grandfather back before the Revolution. Quietly down the hallway, then gently elbowing open the door to the room his parents had lived in when he was a boy.

Claire was awake – she never slept long by herself, sensing his absence even in sleep. She blinked at him from against the headboard his grandfather had carved, hair all wild, the low neck of her sleep shirt slung to expose one bare shoulder.

He set down the tray on the bedside table he’d made her for their anniversary, handed her the black coffee she craved each morning, and smiled as she tilted her chin, waiting for his kiss.

And then her hand snaked over his to take the mug from his fingers, withdrawing from his mouth just enough to take her first sip of the day. Eyes still locked with his, the corners crinkling with amusement – and so much joy to be starting yet another day with him.

A crash outside their window – he turned –

And almost tripped over a half-unpacked box of catheters someone had carelessly left in the hallway leading to the Chu Lai recovery ward.

“This way!” Claire darted right, away from the gunshots and screams and God knew what else was going on back at the mess hall.

Jamie gripped her hand tight, grimacing as the healing scars on his back jostled in rhythm with his quick strides. And at the very real fear that what he’d dreamed of almost every day since he’d woken up at Chu Lai – making Claire her coffee each morning – would never come to pass.

He had no idea where they were going – but knew that he would protect her to the very last drop of blood in his body. And that he trusted her with his life.

She led him back to a tiny office – from the haphazard papers piled on one desk next to a Red Sox cap, this had to be where Claire and Dr. Abernathy spent most of their time.

Claire flicked off the light and shut the door, locking it. Jamie dutifully pushed Joe’s desk up against the door, heedless of papers sliding off to flutter silently to the floor, and then hoisted the desk chair on top for good measure.

Echoes of automatic fire filtered through the door. Us, or Charlie?

Jamie swallowed and turned to see Claire pulling another, smaller desk toward the door. Quickly he helped her wedge it at an angle against the other desk, then watched her diligently stack thick medical volumes on top of the desk.

Charlie would need a hell of a lot more than an AK to get into this room.

But it could still do a lot of damage.

“D-d-down,” he rasped, gesturing toward the floor with one hand.

The last thing either of them needed was to be hit by a random bullet sprayed through the flimsy wall.

So Claire sank to her knees, resting her back against the drawers of the desk. And as Jamie dropped to her side, he watched her shoulders slump as the adrenaline ebbed out of her body.

A soft rumble – a bomb, perhaps? Or a grenade?

Without thinking, he opened his arms, and Claire collapsed into them.

For the first time – would this be the last time? – he held her. Pressed her face against his neck. Nudged her side so that she slid onto his lap, arms twined around his shoulders – mindful of his scars.

Maneuvering them so that his body was completely between her and the desks – and the door.

If he died today, it would not matter. For it would be in the service of this extraordinary woman – whom he loved more than his country, more than his sister and nephew, more than his career.

More than his life.

“*Mary, Michael, and Bride, protect us. O blessed Michael of the red domain, shield my beloved, my white dove.*”

His lips moved almost soundlessly in the *Gaidhlig,* right next to her ear.

“*Keep her safe from harm. In this place, and in every place.*”

Hurried bootsteps in the hallway – and the floor shook.

Plaster rained down from the ceiling.

“*On this day, and on every day.*”

Muffled explosions somewhere close.

She was shaking – trying to be so brave.

“*Give her mind peace, and her soul strength. And give me the fortitude to do right by her. Let me be what she needs, for however long she allows it. Let me be enough.*”

Automatic fire right outside the door.

Jamie curled his body around Claire’s, fingers digging into the rough olive fabric of her uniform, molding her to him. Terrified to even draw breath.

Then she tilted her chin, and he drew back to watch her in the dark.

She looked exactly like she always did in his dream.

“We’re going to die,” she whispered, eyes shining with tears.

And so he did what always came next in his dream – fuse his mouth to hers.