Hi! I love shifted! It's seriously the best part of my Tuesday:) I was wondering-could we see the part where Jamie and Claire find out she's pregnant with Brianna and then decide to go back to Lallybroch together? It's referenced a lot, and I'd like to see how it played out. Thank you!!
For the next few weeks I’ll be writing one-shots in the Shifted universe, filling in the blanks that we don’t see in the main story, before we resume the main action with Part 7 - The Visitor.
If there is a particular scene you’d like to see, send me an ask and I’ll see what I can do!
In Shifted, the premise is simple - what if Claire had gotten pregnant with Brianna a month or two earlier in the story, and she and Jamie had re-evaluated their priorities and decided that the cause was lost, and they were able to slip away from the army and quietly return to Lallybroch?
Prelude - The Discovery
Inverness, February 1746
“Let’s call it a night, then – no use losing our eyesight over these old maps. Cumberland’s men will still be there in the morning.”
“But James –”
“No, Your Royal Highness.” Jamie’s voice was tired, but firm. “We’ve been arguing for hours, and still there is no agreement. We need rest – and fresh eyes. The scouts should be back by dawn, and we can go from there.”
“I concur,” O’Sullivan added, adjusting his wig – which had fallen askew over his forehead in the height of the argument.
Prince Charles Edward Stuart strode, tight-lipped, out of the room and in the direction of the kitchens.
The weary generals and advisers quickly dispersed – some to check on their men, others to review the latest dispatches from the Continent – the gold had still not arrived from France.
And still others – like Jamie – to the oblivion of sleep.
His position – and Claire’s vital role tending to the health and well-being of the troops – had landed them a drafty set of rooms on the third floor of the manor house once – still? – owned by a Jacobite on the outskirts of Inverness. The ragtag Highland army was encamped on the frozen grounds – having long overstayed their welcome in the farms of the neighboring villages.
It was February. It was cold. The cause teetered somewhere precariously between total success and utter failure.
But as Jamie crossed the top landing and rapped on the door six times – the signal he and Claire had set for each other – he knew that at least tonight he would be neither cold, nor alone.
The door flew open. Claire – clutching her arisaid around her shoulders, hair all wild.
Swiftly he slipped inside, and she was in his arms.
The fire crackled as they held each other. Savored each other. Breathed each other in.
Claire’s cold fingers wormed under his collar.
“Good evening, my beautiful wife,” he whispered against her crown. “And how was your day, since last we met?”
“Better, now that you’re here,” she whispered.
He pulled back just a bit, taking the ends of her arisaid into his hands and folding the long cloth around them both.
“Scurvy is setting in,” she murmured. “I saw at least ten men with symptoms today. It’s not bad yet, but if their food supply doesn’t improve…”
“It won’t,” he replied softly. “The damn generals canna agree on anything. They got Prince Charles all excited about a possible new strategy that I saw right away wouldna work. And now they’re angry at me for speaking the truth.”
“While the men suffer.”
He sighed. “Aye.”
She swallowed against him – and her pulse stuttered beneath his lips.
“What’s troubling you, Sassenach?”
She said nothing, but pulled back to look at him.
Christ, when had those wrinkles appeared at the creases of her eyes?
What had this life done to her?
What had he done to her?
“It didn’t come today, Jamie.”
Tears flooded her eyes. His heart leapt to his throat.
“Forty-six days. There’s only one possible explanation.”
“Gasta,” he breathed.
Two weeks now they had waited. At first Claire explained that the delay could be due to any number of factors – stress, poor diet. But as the days passed, and still no sign of her monthly –
Jamie dropped to his knees and pressed his face against Claire’s belly. She wove her fingers into his hair, anchoring him.
“I don’t know whether to be happy or sad.” Her voice was choked – her fingers trembling.
“Mo nighean donn – this is the happiest news we’ve had in a long while. As ye ken weel.”
They stayed like that for what could have been minutes or hours – thinking.
“I want to go home,” Claire finally spoke. She crossed her legs and sat before Jamie on the threadbare rug. “But I can’t leave you, Jamie. I won’t.”
He pursed his lips, still deep in thought.
“I’ve sacrificed so much already – you have, too.” His eyes watched the fire consume another log. “We’re at an impasse. It’s not too late to leave.”
“What do you mean?”
Now he turned to face her – eyes wide. “I’m saying that we leave. I resign my post, bring the men back to Lallybroch. Avoid the battle – the ruin – that we ken is coming.”
The log snapped in two.
“You’d do that?” Her voice was small. “I can’t ask you to give that up –”
“Damn it, Claire! None of it matters now. You – and the bairn – you must be in a safe place. And it’s my duty to provide ye wi’ that safe place. Enough of this damn fool prince and the generals with their heads up their arses!”
“Sshh!” she hissed.
“I dinna give a fig if they hear. Nobody will admit it – the cause is lost. The emperor – the prince – he has nae clothes on.” Jamie shifted to take her hands. “So – so we will leave. I will take ye home, and we will raise the bairn away from all this nonsense.”
“But what about Murtagh? Dougal? And what will Prince Charles think?”
“I’ll figure it out,” he vowed. “I always do.”
She shook her head. “Are we being selfish? Does this make us bad people, for just -just wanting to leave everything behind?”
“No.” His voice was strong – confident – definite. “No, Claire. We are doing what’s right for us. For our family. That canna be wrong.”
Then he abruptly stood, pulling her upright, and led he to the edge of the bed. She had been sleeping before he came in – the quilt on her side was turned back.
She reached up for a kiss.
“When do we start?”
He kicked off his boots and lay her against the pillow. “Tomorrow. Tonight, we celebrate this gift from God.”
And in the small, dark hours of the deep night, she woke to his whispers.
Her Gaidhlig was still far from perfect – but she’d recognize the words for “white dove” anywhere.