A Wild Night in Vegas -- Part 9
Okay. Well. @outlandishchridhe and I said it would be a while before we’d post a new chapter. We might have fibbed a little. Cause well, here’s a new chapter. We used plotting as a reward for getting homework done, which we totally did. And we had far, FAR too much fun plotting and writing this chapter.
Catch up with all previous chapters HERE
Fraser Bairn Wach: Month 3
Jamie put the finishing touches on the quinoa salad as the door unlocked. Claire hung her keys up and dropped her bag on the floor.
“Why is it so bloody hot here?” she asked, heading to the refrigerator for a bottle of cold water.
While she took a long drink, he went to her bag and pulled out the plastic bag of wet washcloths to rinse and return to the freezer. Claire already had the extra out and pressed against her neck.
“Because it’s July in the desert, Sassenach,” he said with a laugh. “Did ye drink enough water?”
“I did, I promise. What did you make?”
Setting the bowl on the table, he stuck the serving spoon into it and took a deep breath.
“Weel, it’s a quinoa salad wi’ cucumbers and chickpeas, and a light yogurt dill dressing on the side, to use as ye like.”
“That sounds amazing. And it’s cool, oh I do love you Jamie.”
He gave her a soft kiss on her cheek and smiled as she picked up a slice of cucumber from the cutting board. It was true, what they said. Women had a particular glow about them when they were pregnant and his wife was no different.
Claire had gotten through the first couple months of her pregnancy pretty much unscathed as far as morning sickness was concerned. She had heard the horror stories of mornings filled with vomiting and not being able to eat and thought she had made it past the point that it would affect her. She thought that. But sadly, she was wrong.
It came on all of a sudden. Just one bite of the cucumber. One minute she was fine, the next, she was sprinting down the short hallway and into the bathroom to release the food she had just put into her mouth. Jamie, who had been startled from his dinner preparation by her sudden departure, heard the retching coming from behind the closed door and knocked tentatively.
“Sassenach? Are ye alright?”
He heard her gasp before she answered.
“Yes, I’m fine. Don’t come in! I don’t want you to see this.”
The water came on and he listened while she brushed her teeth. A moment later, she came out, her face still a little flushed.
“Are ye sure you’re alright, Sassenach?”
“Yes, I’m just fine. I’m perfectly alright now. Though, I think I might not be able to make myself eat the cucumbers in the salad…”
“Dinna fash. I’ll pick them out for ye and eat them myself. I made them big chunks, aye?”
She filled a glass with water and began to drink it while he fixed her a bowl without cucumbers. The rest of the evening was uneventful. They snuggled in bed, though he was hesitant to let it go further than that.
In the morning, he set aside a portion of the leftovers from the previous night for Claire’s lunch, taking care to pick out the cucumbers. Then he started getting together a small breakfast for her, knowing she had a very full day between her classes and work. He’d just buttered some toast and set it on a plate when she came out of the bedroom.
“Morning,” she said, grinning at him.
“Morning, mo nighean donn. Are ye hungry?”
Steering her away from the plate of eggs he’d fixed, he sat her down at the table.
“We’ll no’ see each other all day and I’ll probably be late wi’ work tonight. Let me feed ye properly, at least.”
Rolling her eyes, she folded her arms and waited. Finished, he filled her plate with the eggs and toast. She took one big bite of the perfectly cooked eggs and her hand went to her mouth. Immediately, he knew she would bolt to the bathroom again by the look on her face. This time he followed her in.
While she gripped the sides of the toilet, he held her hair back and out of her face until she finished retching. The sound of it had him worrying that something was wrong with the bairn. Finally, it was over. She sat back and slumped against the wall, her face covered in sweat.
“Are ye alright?”
“I am now.”
“Do we need to call your doctor? I’m gettin’ worried.”
Shaking her head, she closed her eyes and leaned against the wall.
“Unfortunately, this is completely normal,” she sighed, wiping her mouth and taking his outstretched hand to stand up. “Completely normal. It’s just morning sickness.”
“That doesna really explain you being sick last night though.”
“Well, they call it morning sickness, but really it happens all the time. It can happen any time of day and all through the pregnancy, although I’m really hoping our little one here doesn’t keep making me sick or it’ll be a long 6 months to go.” She smiled as she said this, caressing her very, very small bump. She would throw up every day, and gladly, as long as the baby was safe.
Jamie rubbed her back gently, still worried.
“And you’ll be alright at school? And work?”
“Honestly, I feel perfectly alright now. I’ll take it as easy as I can, I promise. But I’ll be fine.”
She brushed her teeth again and followed him back out. Opting for a bowl of cereal instead of the eggs, she finished and grabbed her lunch bag.
“What’d you pack me today?”
“Leftovers from last night. Wi’out the cucumbers. Picked them all out myself.”
“Such a gentleman you are.”
With a deep bow, he gave her hand a kiss.
“Lord Midnight the Blue, at your service, my lady.”
“I’ll see you tonight, my lord. Try not to break yourself at work?”
“Ye ken I fight the dark forces of Merlin. Sometimes that involves taking a blow. But I’ve got a fine lady of medicine waiting for me at home who’ll tend to my wounds.”
Car keys in hand, she smirked from the doorway.
“Just make sure to sneak her out the back door before I see her.”
He let out a hearty laugh as she left.
Thankfully his show had gone well and he hadn’t left with new injuries. Claire would be pleased. As he pulled out of the employee parking lot, he thought about her struggles with the pregnancy sickness. With a stroke of inspiration, he drove to a grocery store and bought her three red roses.
At home, Claire was bustling around the kitchen.
“Aye, I am. Sorry I’m late.”
“It’s alright. You’re here now. Hungry?”
With the roses in one hand, he wrapped his arms around her, presenting the flowers with a flourish.
“Starved. But I’ve a wee gift for ye first.”
“Oh Jamie! What’s the occasion?”
“Weel, I figure you’re about three months gone now, aye? Three roses for three months. I canna do the work for ye or take this sickness for ye, but I can bring ye something to say thank you.”
Turning around in his arms, she put her own around his neck and blinked back the tears.
“I think that’s the sweetest thing anyone’s ever done for me. I didn’t think you’d kept such close track.”
“Of course I have, mo nighean donn,” he said, hand over the nearly invisible swell. “This is my child too. I want to keep track of how our bairn’s progress is doing. And to say I love ye more and more every day.”
“I love you too, Jamie.”
Claire set the table and served them both dinner. They ate happily while she regaled him with details from her day, both school and work. Admittedly, he didn’t understand most of the things she said about her classes, but she was happy. That was all he ever wanted.
Dishes in the sink, they cuddled on the couch for a little while. The three red roses sat in a vase on the end table where Claire had put them.
“Ye ken what day it is, Sassenach?”
He tried to keep his smile down, but he couldn’t. Monday was easily his favorite day of the week for one very good reason.
“Ye ken how ye let me take a photograph of yer wee belly on Mondays?”
Heaving a sigh, she slowly stood and started to walk towards the wall he liked to take the picture against.
“Honestly Jamie, I’m not even showing yet. At most, it looks like I’ve a food baby that’s settled there. I don’t know why you want a picture of it. I just look bloated.”
“I want a picture,” he said, turning her slightly after she pulled her shirt up to reveal her belly to him. “Because I want to watch you and the bairn grow.” He kissed her softly then pulled away.
“I want a picture because my beautiful wife is pregnant and glowing with our wee babe inside her.”
“I’m glowing because my skin is so oily and it’s shining in this light,” she retorted, though she smiled at him when he pointed his phone in her direction, unable to keep her hand from touching her near-flat belly.
“Take yer hand off there, Sassenach. I want to see the belly.” He smirked at her over the top of his phone and took another few pictures. She rolled her eyes at him and stuck her tongue out, but let him do as he pleased. Whether she would admit it or not, she also wanted to see her body grow and change, the subtle swell of her belly get larger with their child.
“And ye are glowing. It’s not just yer face, yer whole body seems more alight. Ye look completely beautiful. It’s not just the look of ye either, ken? There’s something all around ye now. I canna explain it, but it’s there.”
He leaned down and took her lips against his, her face shocked but pleased at his assessment of her.
“I do love you something fierce, Jamie Fraser,” she whispered to him between kisses.
“I love you, too, mo nighean donn. Come on. Let’s go to bed.”
About a week later, Jamie was just getting things out to start on dinner when Claire suddenly pushed back from her desk. She’d been studying for an exam all afternoon on her day off and he’d been trying to give her space. He’d been taking careful note about what different foods set off her nausea and had avoided using them at all costs.
Pulling the refrigerator door open roughly, she began digging through the drawers, muttering to herself.
“How do we have no cucumbers in this whole bloody apartment?!”
Frowning, he opened a jar and set it on the counter.
“Cucumber? The last time ye had any, it left ye puking yer guts out! I havena bought any in a week.”
She stood up and closed the door. He glanced at her just in time to see the tears welling in her eyes. Her bottom lip began to tremble as a red flush started up her neck. When her mouth opened, he thought she might yell. What happened was much, much worse.
“I just… Wanted… B-bloody cucumber…”
Then the dam broke and she shook with intense sobs. For a moment, he stood there in complete shock. His mouth hung open while she wept in the middle of the kitchen. He rushed to her and pulled her close, trying to find a way to soothe her.
“Hush lass, dinna cry. If ye want a cucumber, I’ll go and fetch ye one. Dinna cry, mo nighean donn. I’ll fetch ye a whole bushel if ye wish.”
Slowly, her head came up from his chest, her blue eyes amazingly bright from her tears.
“W-would y-you?” she stammered between hiccups.
“Aye, lass. I’ll go right now.”
“Th-thank you, Jamie.”
Considering her emotional state, he bought as many cucumbers as he could fit in the produce bag at the grocery store.
She was on the couch when he got home, no longer crying, thank God. She looked a little sheepish but, as soon as she saw him, she hopped to her feet and began reaching for the bag.
“No, no, a nighean. Let me wash one for ye first.”
He rinsed and brushed a large cucumber off before turning to the cutting board. Claire stood directly behind him, eyes on the vegetable.
“Christ!” he yelped, moving back. “I didna even hear ye get off the couch!”
Her eyes darted from him to the cucumber and back. When she licked her lips, he nearly threw it at her for fear of losing his own fingers.
“Here! Take the damn thing!”
She held it, staring down at it for a moment. Quickly, she picked up the knife Jamie had been about to use and chopped one end off before taking a huge bite. It wasn’t until she’d swallowed the bite that she looked up and met his eyes.
“I’m sorry, Jamie. These hormones are… I don’t even know what to do with myself. I didn’t mean to start crying like that. I’m sorry I frightened you.”
“Dinna fash, lass. Ye didna frighten me. I worried I’d been an arse somehow and hurt ye. If I’d kent ye wanted them, I’d have bought them at the store today.”
“I know, and I didn’t know I wanted them until I got up from the desk. I promise, it wasn’t you at all. Thank you for getting some. It’s quite good.”
Cupping her face in one hand, he smiled fondly at her.
“All I want is for ye to be happy. If ye need me to get ye cucumbers in the middle of the night, I’ll find some way to make it happen.”
She looked up at him seriously for a moment.
“I want you to be happy too. I feel like sometimes… I feel quite selfish. You do all these things for me and…”
Jamie cut her off with a long, slow kiss. He rested his forehead against hers and waited until she met his gaze.
“Ye do plenty for me, Claire. You come home after long days and make us dinner, you always ken when I need ye, when I’m hurting after work and yer willing to rub my shoulders for me, when ye get up before me to make a coffee for me, ye’re doing sae well in classes and working and growing our bairn. Trust me, Sassenach, going to fetch ye a wee cucumber is but a blip on the radar.”
He saw her eyes get teary again and hugged her close.
“Ye are perfect, mo nighean donn. Yer everything I didna know I wanted until I met ye. Dinna think that yer not worth that.”
He heard her soft sniffle against his shirt and ran a soothing hand down the length of her back.
“I love you,” came a watery voice from below his chin.
“I love ye, too, mo nighean donn. Come on. Let’s having something to eat, aye? Aside from yon wee cucumber there.”
That earned him a small laugh and a thump to the chest, but her eyes shone up at him, filled with wonder at this man who could love her so much.
She helped him prepare the rest of their dinner and they ate cuddled up on the couch instead of at the table, needing to just be close to one another.
When they went to bed that night, right before he drifted off to sleep, arms snugly around her, he heard her whisper, “How did I ever get so lucky as to find you?”
He smiled and searched for her mouth with his, giving her a sleepy kiss before bringing her even closer and pulling her into sleep with him, safe and secure in each other’s arms.