This is a continuation of Sonas/Happiness which was supposed to be a one shot but it had a fantastic reaction and actually this instalment will lead directly to another prompt I have received (watch this space!) So please enjoy my own version of events for early Voyager times - *spoilers for fans of the show only* H xxx P.S this is the first time I have ever written in Claire’s voice so please do bear with me if it feels a little off - I’m working it out :-)
I remembered a time in which the cold did not seep so easily
into my bones, a time when my calves did not ache with the ascension of a
single slope. I looked down at the grassy bank, just visible beneath the clutch
of fabric in my hands and frowned. The grass, if it could reasonably be called
grass at the length it was, had made various little nicks and cuts across my
knuckles and for a moment I considered shrugging out of the woollen dress and
continuing upwards in just my shift and stockings and bitter March wind be
I looked up, still grinning fiendishly at the thought of
leaving the heavy garment to the elements and saw Jamie smiling back at me with
a mix of amusement and pity. Clearly my laboured breathing had been more
pronounced than I realised and I forced my trembling legs back into motion,
lunging up the hill with a renewed determination.
“Of course, just … enjoying the view.”
The cheeriness of my tone and the vacant wave across the
expanse of valley below us did nothing but cause Jamie to raise one arched red
brow in my direction and hold out his hand.
“Let me help ye, lass.”
“Unless you mean to carry me …”
“I probably could. Ye’re a wee wisp of a thing! Did they no’
have proper food in Boston?”
Jamie caught my elbow as I huffed past him and helped me
over a sudden rocky patch of earth, his own feet sure and steady on the uneven
“Ha! Flatterer! They had plenty of food and I assure you, I
ate plenty of it!”
I immediately regretted trying a form a full sentence as the
air left my lungs in a rush of words and seemed to remain empty whilst I
gasped, sweat prickling beneath my hair.
“Ach. Weel if ye did, I ken where it’s all gone.”
Jamie grinned with an exaggerated glance at my posterior. I
rolled my eyes but didn’t have the energy for further banter. We crested the
top of the hill and I all but collapsed onto the nearest boulder, mopping my
forehead with my already sweat soaked handkerchief and grimacing. Jamie had
settled on the ground before me, like a little boy in class ready for story
time from his favourite teacher but his face was carefully blank – like
Brianna’s before confessing to some naughtiness when she was a little
“So, we are now safely in the middle of nowhere - what is it
you have to tell me?”
The element of surprise most often worked with Bree and sure
enough, colour touched Jamie’s cheekbones that could not be put down to the
“As a matter of fact there is something, Sassenach. I should
have told ye sooner but … well. I should have and I did not and ye may hold me
accountable in whatever manner ye please but I would ask that ye let me finish
the telling before ye have your say.”
His head had been bowed but he looked directly at me as he
spoke, his eyes fixed on my own and I saw both fear and love, each battling to
outdo the other and I noticed that his hands were shaking.
“Jamie, whatever it is … I’m here. We’re here. We can tackle
He made a sound half way between a laugh and a moan and
stood up, his whole body seemed to vibrate with nervous tension and my own leg
twitched beneath me in response.
“What is it then?”
“I … Claire, I …”
He came and stood before me, arms held rigidly at his side
and his gaze burning through me, furious and wild, his emotions barely
contained and for the first time, I was afraid.
He nodded once, then twice and finally took a breath that drew
his shoulders upward before releasing it slowly through his nose. I felt almost
ready to scream, panic rising in my chest with every heartbeat but forced
myself to stillness, waiting for him to speak.
“I got re-married, Claire. A few years ago when I was
released from my debt of servitude in England, when I came back to Lallybroch
and Jenny couldna stand my listlessness anymore… it was arranged and I was wed
to a widow … and …”
Jamie had started pacing, gesturing with his hands when the
words stuck in his throat but I could barely hear what he was saying. The wind
seemed to howl around me, through me, blocking my ears and wrenching moisture
from my eyes that I did not want to feel against my cheek. Everything seemed to
sharpen into focus. The way the grey light of the sky above accentuated the
deep bronze threads of his hair and muted the gold. How his shirt pulled
against the powerful swell of his shoulders and his lips, slightly chapped with
the cold, formed the words he spoke with a delicate precision. The rough feel
of his hands on my skin as he cupped my face between them and his eyes, those
beautiful, slanted eyes that he had passed down to his daughter, our daughter.
Brianna. Oh Bree! To have put her through all that I had only for it to come to
As swiftly as thick grey blankets of fog engulf unsuspecting
moors in winter, misery covered me like a shroud and I found myself too numb
even to weep for all that I had lost and all that I had given away.
“Please say something Claire. I ken ye must be…”
I pushed his hand away and drew upon what little courage I
“We don’t need to talk about it Jamie. If you could ask Ian
or one of the boys to see me back to Craigh na Dunn…”
The violence in his voice shook the layers of shock
cocooning me from the full impact of his confession but it was his hands on my
arms that penetrated it, the sudden heat of him, and the feel of his fingers biting
into my flesh. I looked away and closed my eyes, unable to bear the sight of
him. Mine and yet not mine at all.
“When we first wed, you were marrit and ye had to make a
choice. There is no choice for me Claire, it is you. It has always been you.”
“Jamie, don’t …”
“Look at me.”
I kept my eyes shut and felt the air stir by my cheek a
split second before the warmth of his palm settled there again, as gentle as a
“Look at me, damn ye Claire. See the truth of it for
yourself and know what ye are to me, what ye have always been and will always
“I can’t. If I look at you … if … I … I won’t be able to
My voice cracked and broke over the words as Jamie lifted me
I swallowed and forced myself to look; I didn’t want to but
something deeper than want compelled me to it and I moved on instinct for it
was all I had the strength to do.
He looked tired and afraid and in the moment before I
blinked, I saw his twenty-six year old self, sending me away to protect our
un-born child, the same haunted lines of misery in the corner of his mouth. Yes
there was love, as there had always been love. But I had been a fool to think
it was enough to overcome all other disruptions of life for twenty years. I had
been a fool to come back and expect it to all be the same.
“I should not have disrupted your life like this. I had no
idea you had … I found no mention of a … a second wife in the history books …
but I am glad you know of Brianna. You deserved to know about her.”
My voice shook again but held firm and did not break.
“I am glad ye came back.”
“You shouldn’t be!”
I shook my head and slapped my hand against the earth in
“Jamie, you are married!”
“Aye! To you!”
“No … I mean… yes but …”
“You are my first wife Claire, the only woman I have ever
truly loved and you think I would cast ye aside for a sham marriage that Jenny
“It’s not about casting me aside! It’s about what is right!”
“THIS IS RIGHT!”
Jamie roared, his face flaming as the fire of his temper lit
“You are my heart Claire! I love the verra bones of ye! Do
ye ken what it has been like to live without ye?”
“Of course I fucking know! I’ve done the same as you and
more! I raised your child!”
We were nose to nose, our voices raised and echoing off of
the ancient stone around us, twenty years of hurt compressed into the clipped
sentences we could manage to form coherently.
“Then dinna speak of leaving for I canna bear it!”
“You think I can? What would you have me do?!”
“STAY WITH ME!”
I could not say which of us started it, perhaps it was him,
perhaps it was me, but we came together with the fierce and desperate longing
that I had remembered from our parting twenty years before. It was not the
cautious love-making of Edinburgh, nor the joyous coupling of our days since.
We were fighting with the need to consume each other, the metallic taste of
blood between our lips and teeth marks blooming from stark white to heavy
bruised purple on collar bones. The slap of hands against taught flesh and
muscles quivering with the assault of our combined efforts.
The salt of his tears stung the abrasions his teeth had left
on my breast as I clutched him to me at the last, the colours of him exploding
behind my eyes as my voice rose toward the grey sky above, the noise entwined
with his own cry.
“Thoir maitheanas dhomh. Thoir maitheanas dhomh, mo Gradhe.”
Jamie’s voice was hoarse, his cheek pressed into the damp
earth beside my ear. My fingers stroked the thick tresses of his hair almost
without my bidding. The weight of his body pressed me into the earth, our
joining an anchor for us both. I clenched my muscles and felt him move, an
answering touch at the very core of my being.
“There is nothing to forgive, Jamie.”
“Whatever there was between us is there still Claire, do ye
no’ feel it?”
I nodded. Whatever else was true, it was between us still, the force which had been powerful enough to
survive war and starvation, even lift the veil of time itself. I love the verra bones of ye he had said
and I knew it to be the absolute truth for us both for even separated by two
hundred years when all that had remained of him was bones, my heart had pined
for its mate and here in his arms was where I felt the most alive I ever had.
Turning my head to face him, I realised that the decision
was not mine to make. To say good bye or to move forward was not a choice I
had; for I had placed my bets and allowed the chips to fall as they may and I
had won more than I had any right to dare hope for. Jamie was alive, I had
found him, and we loved one another still.
Now I needed only to gather my winnings and carry on.
I just found it interesting how Jamie Called her "mo Gradh" twice in this episode; Once while he's comforting her and then the other when she startles the horse. :) Sam said he'd get alot of mileage out of that one ;) Just didn't expect it so quickly. Not that I should be surprised, having read the books and knowing that he fell in love with her last episode ;)
OKAY I TWEETED ABOUT THAT BC I WAS LIKE DID HE JUST SAY MY LOVE DID HE ACTUALLY WHAT ARE MY EARS DECEIVING ME
ok im glad i wasn’t going crazy bc someone answered me and was like no i think he said something in english and i was like no but can he please have just said mo gradh haha bc i need it
i didn’t know he said it twice?! I didn’t hear him saying it when he was comforting her but, again, my tv kept fucking up so I have to watch it again to hear it. ok GOOD yeah I thought it was kind of early for him to be saying that, even though we KNOW he’s already in love with her, bc we’re not supposed to know that yet but like GAHHHHH JAMIE YOU PERFECT SON OF A BITCH
FYI to everyone else: Mo Gradh means ‘my love’ in Gaelic