modern!a.u

Cause you throw your head back laughing like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause he never did
I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end
But on a Wednesday, in a cafe
I watched it begin again

[Had a random inspiration while listening to this song. I had a story idea in my mind and I was supposed to make a small comic, but for now Ihave to settle for this little thingy]

notevenjokingrightnow  asked:

Dear Modern Glasgow AU...how about a time Claire finds an old shoe box full of love letters from Jamie's old girlfriend, Annalise.... and doesn't take it so well.... Thank you. I await your brilliance.

Modern Glasgow AU

Cold, dry, stale air. And mothballs.

Claire scrunched her nose and squinted into the darkness beyond the battered door.

“This is it, eh?”

Jenny nodded. “Aye - all of Jamie’s boxes should be labeled. Some have been in there since he was a lad, and Ian and I packed up some of his loose things when he…went to America.”

When he went to America after getting beaten up by that sadistic police captain and Brian Fraser had died. But no need to bring that up here, today - not when Claire could hear Jamie pretending to be a Highland Coo downstairs and his Murray niece and nephew squealing with delight at their silly uncle.

Claire coughed.

“Well then - I’ll see what I can find. Now that we’ve got our own flat, we’ve certainly got more room for Jamie’s things.”

Jenny pulled a long chain from the ceiling, and light flooded from a bare bulb to illuminate stacks and stacks of boxes, the odd chair covered in protective plastic, and a number of framed pictures stacked up against the far wall.

“Weel there are things that have been up there since our grandparents lived in the house - anything that strikes yer fancy, it’s yours.”

Impulsively Claire gave her sister-in-law a quick hug - and Jenny returned it.

“Thank you, Jenny. I’ll keep myself busy - I know you must have so much more to do to get the house ready.”

“I do - and trust me Claire, ye’re doing me a favor. I canna ever find the time to go through all this rubbish!”

And with that, Jenny turned on her heel to help Mrs. Crook with the final preparations for the biggest Christmas Eve dinner that Lallybroch had seen in a long while.

Claire gingerly stepped through the doorway and began tracing her fingers down the long columns of boxes. Many were labeled with marker in tall, neat letters - not Jamie’s handwriting, or Jenny’s. Her heart clenched at the realization that it must have been Brian’s handwriting.

JENNY FRASER - PRIMARY SCHOOL

LAND SURVEYS, 1750 - 1900

JAMIE FRASER - RUGBY TROPHIES

BRIAN AND ELLEN - BACK TAXES

BROCH TUARACH LEDGERS, 1920-90

One by one she read the labels, opened the boxes at the top of each stack, carefully sifting through Jamie’s history - the Fraser history - *her* history now.

What little she knew of history - of being a historian - she’d learned from Frank. But his interests lay in what he always called the “big picture” - trying to understand the causes and effects of the big historical trends. What kings and queens and prime ministers and generals thought about the events of the day.

Not what ordinary, hard-working people thought about those events. Never the effect of laws and regime changes and wars and economic crises on the majority of people - such as the Frasers who had owned and lovingly farmed this land for more than two hundred years.

Lallybroch wasn’t just a quaint holdover from a different time - it was a working farm. Would *always* be a working farm, if Jenny, Ian, and Jamie had their way. And events in Westminster and Brussels and New York and so many other places would continue to affect the Frasers here, just as they always had. And life would continue to move on.

A crash downstairs - probably Wee Jamie turning over a chair in the kitchen again - startled Claire back to the present. It was always overwhelming to visit Lallybroch, to be surrounded by so many Frasers and their history. But their history wasn’t something dead on a page - it was living, breathing. Part of day-to-day life. For by living as they did, the Frasers honored all of their ancestors who had come before them - who had poured their blood and sweat into the stones of the house - and kept alive that which many others had lost.

It was why Jenny and Ian were teaching Wee Jamie and his newborn sister Maggie to speak Gaelic as well as English. It was why they insisted on traditional foods for holidays, and High Mass on Sundays, and had been such passionate Yes voters a few years back.

Claire turned to examine another stack, thinking. This was how she wanted her children to be raised - with a strong sense of self, and a strong appreciation for tradition.

JAMIE - SECONDARY SCHOOL

Now that box should be interesting.

Claire hoisted the box from the top of the stack and brought it to the other end of the room, where she’d cleared off a stool. Carefully she removed the lid and began sifting through the tidy stack of folders.

REPORT CARDS…SCIENCE FAIR PHOTOGRAPHS…

That folder contained a snapshot of an absolutely adorable Jamie, aged perhaps sixteen, hair all messy, grinning in front of a large posterboard at a science fair.

A handsome lad, to be sure. She knew he’d had girlfriends, of course - he’d told her as much, and been honest as to his previous romantic experiences (or his “BC” - “Before Claire” years, as he referred to them). Brian - and Ellen, though she’d died when Jamie was eight - had instilled in him a deep respect for women, and a sense of responsibility. For to be intimate with a woman was to risk disease and pregnancy - which (combined with his total inability to feel attracted to *any* woman as he grieved for several years after Brian’s death) had significantly contributed to him remaining a virgin until their marriage.

And then a small bundle of letters caught her eye.

Not true letters - the envelopes bore Jamie’s name, but no addresses. They must have been delivered by hand.

And written in what was clearly a woman’s handwriting.

Carefully, Claire unwound the string holding together the bundle, opened the top envelope, and began to read.

—–

“Have ye seen Claire?”

Ian looked up from his seat behind Lallybroch’s ancient desk. Jamie stood in the doorway, his namesake hoisted high on his shoulders, wee eyes drooping.

“Jenny sent her to the attic - said she wanted to find some things to furnish yer new flat with. Here, bring the lad to me.”

Jamie strode across the room and gently shifted Wee Jamie into his arms, handing him to his father across the desk. The little boy settled against his Da’s shoulder and suddenly went boneless.

“There’s a good lad - ye’re all tired out, playing wi’ yer daft uncle all day.”

Jamie theatrically rolled his eyes. “I’ll leave ye two to it, then. He can help ye wi’ the ledgers if ye dinna want me to.”

And turned on his heel to find Claire, Ian’s soft laughter trailing behind him.

Up three flights of stairs - ah, the door was open at the end of the hall. He hadn’t been in the attic in years - had no need to, truly - and felt a sudden pangof regret that Claire felt she needed to retreat from the family for a bit. This was only her second visit to Lallybroch, and she still felt so overwhelmed by the house and the history, let alone his family -

She was sitting on a stool at the back of the room, a box open around her, squinting at a wee piece of paper.

“Claire?”

She flinched and looked up at him - eyes cold.

His heart stopped.

“Claire? Are ye - are ye all right?”

He watched her take a deep breath. “Tell me - who is Annalise de Marillac?”

Now *that* was a name he hadn’t heard in a long time -

“…and why did you keep all of her love letters?”

Heat flushed through him - and he flailed a bit, grabbing on to the doorframe to stay upright.

“Mon bête rouge, I could not sleep again last night as thoughts of you filled my mind. Even eight hours after the time we spent holding each other and kissing in the trees, my heart was racing so fast I thought my chest would burst.”

Her voice was thick - unemotional. She sounded like she was holding back tears.

“You are full of more passion than any other man I have ever known. You kiss me with more dedication than I ever knew possible. Your hands on my waist scorch me through my clothes. Your beautiful blue eyes smiling at me warms me to my very center.”

“Claire - ”

“I so love when you whisper in my ear, tell me how beautiful I am, tell me how you love to kiss my neck and hold my hands so tight you are always afraid you will break my fingers. How you like to show me off to the other boys at school. How you love my taste and always want it on your lips.”

Jamie had watched Claire unknowingly curl her back, shrinking into herself.

No - no - no. This wouldn’t do.

Quickly he weaved through the piles of boxes and other bric-a-brac and knelt before her.

“Claire - look at me. I will tell you *everything* about this. Just look at me.”

She did - eyes so narrow and brimming with tears.

“Why did you never tell me of her? It sounds very - deep.”

“I never told you because I didna think it mattered. And because it lasted for all of four weeks.”

“You fell in love with me in a second. And married me after a month.”

“Aye - I did. But will ye let me explain to ye how what I felt for her is absolutely nothing compared to what I feel for you, Claire? For you, my wife?”

She swallowed, but didn’t move to touch him.

“She was a French exchange student at the school in Broch Mordha.” He sat down on the dusty floor, legs crossed, keeping one hand on her ankle, rubbing it just above her boot. Keeping them connected.

“I was sixteen. She was seventeen - French - experienced. And at the time I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the entire world.”

“Mon bête rouge?”

Jamie looked up at her, lips pressed tightly together. “She loved my hair - said it was exotic to her. I was already a head above all the other lads at school, and she was such a tiny wee thing - even shorter than you. She barely came up to my elbow. And she - she brought out something in me I didna ken I had.”

Claire set down the letter and turned to face Jamie, hands resting on the dusty knees of her jeans. “And what was that?”

She watched him lick his lips - remembering? “She - kissing her was the first time I felt my entire body tremble. My breath would go short, and I would go - go a bit mad, I suppose. And she liked being kissed on her neck and ear - no’ like the other girls I’d kissed, who only wanted it on the lips.”

Claire nodded, flexing her fingers. “How far did you go with her?”

He glided his left hand up her shin to twine his fingers with her right hand, grounding her. “I have never lied to ye, Claire. You are the *only* women I’ve made love to - the *only* woman who knows me in the way that a wife knows a husband. And my heart and soul belong to you, *mo nighean donn*. Surely ye must know that.”

She arched an eyebrow, waiting.

He swallowed. “If ye must know - she showed me her bubbies, and I just about came in my pants. I was a lad of sixteen for God’s sake. And I touched them. But that’s it.”

His thumb traced the back of her knuckles.

“And she wrote you letters.”

He sighed. “Aye - she did. But I didna ask her to - she’d just leave them in my locker at school, and the things she’d write…I couldna risk throwing them away at home, for fear my Da would find them, so I bundled them up and hid them in a box.”

“So what happened?”

Now he laughed. “In typical Jamie Fraser fashion, I noticed another boy - two years ahead of me at school - who was eyeing Annalise at school. I challenged him to a fight - and knocked him out.”

She barely cracked a smile. “You did?”

“Aye - I did. And Annalise was so upset wi’ me for doing that to the other lad that she dumped me and took up wi’ him, just like that! The puir bastard even follwed her back to France at the end of the term.”

Now he got onto his knees before her - looking up at her. Pleading.

“I never told ye because she didna mean anything to me. She showed me what passion is - but I ken weel I didna love her. No’ then, and certainly no’ now. It was - weel, to be honest it was lust between us. And I felt proud for getting her to go out wi’ me - but then after she took up wi’ the other lad, I felt foolish for the rest of the school year.”

Claire gently rested a hand on one of his shoulders. From this angle, he was eye level with her chest - and as much as he wanted to enjoy the view above the scoop neck of her loose sweater, his eyes remained fixed on hers.

“So you didn’t keep the letters because you wanted to remember her?”

“No, Claire - I kept the letters because I forgot to throw them away. And I’ll gladly burn them all in the fire downstairs, right now, if ye like.”

She nodded, and pulled her other hand away from his so that it could rest on his other shoulder. Slowly she drew their heads together, and sighed as his nose bumped hers.

“You’ve never once questioned me about my life with Frank, or asked about the more - intimate - details of our life together. And I feel terrible that I’m doing so now, with this Annalise girl.”

“I will tell you *everything* you ever want to know about me, Claire.” He pulled back a bit to kiss the tip of her nose. “Every action, every thought. Everything.”

“I know - and I cherish that. I cherish *you*.” She sighed. “I don’t know why I feel so upset - ”

“Is it because you fear that she had me in a way that you don’t? Or in a way that you do, and ye dinna like sharing that?”

Her brow furrowed. “How - how did you -”

“It’s how I feel about your years wi’ the Englishman, Claire. Every time I learn something new about you - or when I kiss ye on that mole, my favorite mole - I think to myself, did he know about this? How many times did he see her like this?”

She slipped off the stool and onto his lap, winding her legs around his waist. He staggered back a bit, but held on to her tight.

“Nonsense. He never *knew* me, Jamie. He never made me a fraction of as happy I feel when I’m with you.”

She kissed him then, but he pulled back.

“So it’s the same for me, Claire - that wee French girl may have had my mouth and mind for a bit, but that’s it. And I thought I wanted her - or my body wanted her - but now that I have you, I understand that I didna truly understand what *want* was. And certainly didna understand what love was, or what true *commitment* was - but now I do. In you.”

They kissed, and kissed, and kissed.

“I love you,” she murmured. “Can you please close the door? I need you, now.”

Heart racing, he grinned into their kiss. “Next door,” he breathed. “There’s a lovely bedroom wi’ a soft bed - I canna wait to see how bonny ye look on the blue quilt, when ye’re naked.”

She shot up, and gripped his hand, and they raced out of the attic in a flurry of papers and dust.

And when she woke, some time later - alone and naked under the lovely blue quilt Jamie had said his grandmother MacKenzie had made - there was a small, half-folded sheet of paper on Jamie’s pillow.

Curious, she opened it.

Gaelic - in Jamie’s hand. And then -

*You are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone. I give you my body, that we two may be one. I give you my spirit, till our life shall be done.*

I am yours, eternally.

J

4

Magic: the Gathering - ANNOUNCEMENT DAY !

http://mtg-realm.blogspot.ca/2016/08/announcement-day-8-31.html

Reporting from the historic Paramount Theater (the central locus of Magic: the Gathering at PAX in Seattle), WotC Community Manager Nate Price leads us through a rapid-fire interaction with other Wizard staffers -
• Lead Creative Designer Kimberly Krienes
• Game Designer Gavin Verhey
• Senior Game Desinger Sam Stoddard
• Wizards of the Coast President Chris Cocks

Product Announcements -
• Amonkhet, set one in the Amonkhet block
• Hour of Devastation, set two in the Amonkhet block
• Archenemy: Nicol Bolas
• Commander Anthology
• Duel Decks: Mind vs. Might
• Modern Masters 2017 Edition
• Kaladesh Planeswalker art preview ‘Chandra, Torch of Defiance’

It Has Always Been Forever

So, after a little(lot) hesitation, thought I’d try my hand at a Modern Neighbors AU! It’s a bit of a slow burn, but their journeys always lead to each other :)

Big thanks to @gotham-ruaidh @iwanttodriveyouthroughthenight @mybeautifuldecay for helping me out with this <3


Part 1.

 They’d lived next door to each other for well over three years and had barely said one word to the other - other than the occasional ‘hullo’ and exchange of pleasantries or lingering look in the hallway or stairwell. They were more like passing ships in the night – She’d see him come home from a long day’s work, tension drawn all over his face, just as she was headed out to start her night shift at the hospital. Then later as she stumbled back at dawn, body aching from the grueling hours, to see him stepping out for his customary early morning run.

Their apartment walls weren’t as thick as some may have liked, but she’d come to love hearing him through the walls in those occasions they happened to be home at the same time. His horrendous, tuneless singing as he made himself something to eat. The way he indignantly bellowed at his TV when his favourite character died or his footy team lost a match, or speaking in rapid Gaelic as he chatted on his phone, never failed to put a smile on her face and filling her with a sense of quiet comfort.

He too had grown to love smelling the charred remnants of a meal she’d been cooking and the accompanying flurry of cussing that followed as the smoke detector went off. Loved when she’d leave her balcony doors open on Sundays and he’d sit on his listening to her humming to herself, the floral scents wafting into his living room as she mixed this herb or that, or when she read her flash cards out loud, memorizing one grisly condition after another.

They’d never really spoken, but they knew the other’s routine as if it were their own; whether meaning to or not, whether liking to or not. Claire knew when exactly the rugby would be on, she’d hear the lads rampaging through the hallway like a crash of rhinos, knew Jamie’d always run out of beer, with the inevitable chiding from his mates in raucous Gaelic, inevitably hearing his door open and close and his hurried footsteps through the hall as he rushed to the store to get some more.

She always kept extra in her fridge just in case he ever knocked on her door.

***

The only time Jamie hated knowing so much about his neighbour was when her husband was home. As far as he could tell – and what he’d gathered from helping their nosy neighbour Mrs. Bug with her groceries up the stairs on occasion – Frank Randall lived in England, where he taught history at Oxford. And Claire, studied medicine in Edinburgh, doing her residency at the local hospital. Claire had married young and had already been qualified as a nurse, just before being accepted into med school a few months later, while Frank had been well established at Oxford already. Six years of marriage, Mrs. Bug had said, and they’d barely lived together.

When Frank was in Scotland, all Jamie could hear was polite, quiet exchanges, the occasional argument or chastising remarks from Frank about her “rather unseemly swearing” that just irked Jamie to no end – he couldn’t imagine ever treating her like that. And - to his horror - the sounds of lovemaking drifting from her open windows – her bonny wee noises punctuated by the man’s grunts that made Jamie’s skin crawl. His only defence; cramming in his earbuds and cranking up the volume to the noisiest music he had, a book in hand. And when the images couldn’t be drowned out; a late night run. Since Jamie had moved in, he’d only actually seen Randall perhaps a couple of times in years, yet the sight of the man irritated him and filled him with an ache so piercing he couldn’t begin to explain. Once, seeing them hand in hand going into her apartment, Claire trying her hardest not to meet his eye, hurt more than he could bear.

She isna yours, dammit! Dinna be tying yerself up in knots for a woman that you know damn well isna yours!

For the most part, he could make himself forget. Forget she belonged to someone else without the constant reminder around. Yet, he couldn’t help but sense something off about her marriage. They weren’t unhappy as such, but they weren’t exactly overflowing with passion for each other either. They were reserved with one another. He found it strange how formal they would be. Perhaps, after such long periods apart, the distance didn’t give them a chance to be too familiar?

“Ye need to stop pining, lad.” His godfather Murtagh would constantly urge. He’d seen Jamie fall but had been powerless to stop it. Jamie’s mates, Rupert and Angus, knew of a few girls who would jump at the chance to date him and had tried setting him up numerous times. None managed to stick though.

Rupert though, had one girl in mind that he thought may (or rather hoped) do the trick and pull Jamie’s gaze away from his married, English neighbour. A young, pretty Mackenzie girl – Laoghaire.