They refused to answer questions for Chief Inspector Grey. They refused to talk to Jamie. They refused to allow anyone to touch their son.
In the end, Claire asked to see the death certificate only to discover that no doctor had been called to declare the young man dead. That tiny loophole gave her the leverage she needed to have the Coroner request an autopsy.
Which was how she found herself in the morgue, just her and the young boy on the table. It was late.
She did her best work in the silence.
She cleared her mind, and closed her eyes. Nothing.
She took his hand, held it gently for a moment.
So many prayers surrounded this child. There was some comfort in that, perhaps.
She took a deep breath, adjusted her microphone, and began.
“Are ye sayin’ it was a natural death?” Jamie was confused. He looked at the notes he’d made in his book as he devoured his fourth piece of pizza.
Claire had come home from the morgue tired and hungry. So hungry she’d stopped and grabbed a pizza from the corner restaurant. Turning up her walk she found a tall, red headed Scotsman sitting on her front steps.
She was embarrassed at how happy it made her.
“Yes. You’ll get the official report soon, but all signs point to it. Increased lung and liver weights. Cerebral edema, lighter brain weight, structural brain lesions. Also, contusions, acute neocortical and brainstem hypoxic neuronal changes…all indicate -”
“English, Sorcha. Please,” he said around a mouthful of food.
“He suffered from seizures. Lots of them.” She took a sip of her wine. “There was something else.”
Jamie lifted his head sharply. “What?”
Jamie pointed at his pizza. Looked at Claire. “Olive oil. Like, what ye cook with, olive oil.”
“Yes.” She wiped her hands on a napkin as she explained. “I’m certain that’s what it was. It was on his forehead, and his hands. I took a sample and sent it off to the lab.”
Jamie picked up his pen. Scribbled another note.
“There were a lot of prayers around him,” Claire said, softly.
Jamie stood and went to his jacket. He rooted around in the pockets until he came out with another notebook.
A caramel coloured notebook.
“What’s that?” It seemed familiar, but she didn’t know why.
Jamie held it up. “Oh, this? This one’s yers.”
“What do you mean, mine?”
“I bought it when we were workin’ on the Geillis Duncan case. These are off-the-record notes. The ones I canna share, but have to support with actual evidence. The notes based on yer visions, not yer findings.”
Jamie’s ears turned pink. “I bought it because the colour of it reminded me of yer eyes,” he admitted, shyly.
Claire blushed. He did that? That was weeks ago. Well before… Some days she still had trouble believing that he accepted her visions so readily.
“Anyway,” Jamie cleared his throat, “What about the bruising?”
Claire was grateful for the redirection. “Straps. Restraints. He was tied down. Wrists. Ankles. Across his chest. They must have been violent seizures to warrant such bruising. He would have bled a little too as the skin was rubbed raw in places.” Claire took her plate to the sink. “I’ve sent a blood sample to be tested, as well. We’ll find out what sort of medications he was on.”
It was getting late.
And she was getting nervous.
She watched as Jamie scribbled in his book. His penmanship really was awful. He finished writing, closed the book and snapped his pen. When he looked up, Claire looked down.
It felt awkward. Tense. Charged.
She wanted him to stay the night. Again. But she didn’t know how to say it.
“Humpf….” Jamie made that Scottish noise he always did when he had something on his mind. He took his time stuffing his notebook back in his jacket pocket.
He wanted to stay the night. Again. But didn’t know how to say it.
“You can…” she said.
“I was hopin’…” he said at the same time. The silence grew. “You first, Claire.”
She crossed her arms. Uncrossed them. Swiped at some crumbs on the counter. Looked up at Jamie.
Jamie dropped his head. Smiled. Glanced up into those whisky coloured eyes.
“I thought ye’d never ask.”
From his office he watched as James made a call. He could hardly hear the conversation, just ‘Sorcha’. He didn’t recognize the name. But ten minutes later when she walked into the offices, he knew right away what was going on.
Because he knew her name. It was Claire. Dr. Claire Randall. The M.E.
So this ‘Sorcha’ must be some kind of pet name. And pet names meant familiarity. And familiarity, at least in the case of James Fraser, meant more than friendship. He should know. One did not simply make friends with James Fraser easily. He was a guarded man, a cautious man.
A man who once admitted to having an attraction to this woman.
He watched as she waited for James to notice her. She waved the envelope and in that split second when their eyes met he saw all he needed to see.
James’ eyes softened. His posture straightened. It was subtle. But it was there. James jumped up and grabbed his jacket, badge and notebook. He didn’t bother to look back.
Damn you, James Fraser, thought D.C.I. John Grey. Damn you, anyway.
Jamie was sitting across the table from the boy’s father. A tape recorder ran between them. But it recorded nothing because the man wouldn’t talk.
They’d had him brought in when the findings from the lab came back. There were too many discrepancies. And Jamie wanted answers.
“Listen. All I want to know about are the bruises. How did he get the bruises ‘round his wrists and ankles?” Jamie looked at the solicitor for help.
“Because from where I’m sittin’, ken, it looks like ye tied yer son down and left him to die.” Jamie watched the man close his eyes. He pressed his advantage. “Like an animal.”
The dad’s jaw clenched.
Jamie was done. “I’ll have to charge him with Neglect.”
“But you have no evidence!” the lawyer insisted.
“Aye. I do!” Jamie snapped. “I have a wee boy with bruises on his chest, ankles and wrists. Skin rubbed raw. I have an expert witness who will stand up in court and swear the boy didna die at home.”
Jamie stood up so quickly his chair wobbled behind him, threatening to fall over. He leaned across the table, his face close to the father. “Where did yer son die? Eh? Where did ye have him tied up?”
“Enough,” the solicitor stepped in.
“Aye. Enough.” Jamie straightened, grabbed his file, and opened the door of the interview room. He motioned for a uniformed officer. “Process him.”
Three days later, Jamie was working at his desk when D.C. Angus Mohr threw a newspaper onto his desk. He jammed his finger at a name in the Obituaries.
“What’s this?” Jamie asked.
“Caught me eye,” the little man said. “Same school as the boy we collected from the Funeral Home. Second death in as many weeks.”
Jamie looked up as the other detective tapped his temple. “Got me thinkin’, you know? Raised the hair on the back of me neck.”
Jamie picked up the paper and scanned it quickly. Same school.
Ste. Anne de Beaupré. Headmaster, Father François Anselm Mericoeur d'Armagnac.
“Can I keep this?” he asked. D.C. Mohr nodded, slapped Jamie on the back, and walked away.
“Cheers,” Jamie mumbled, already lost in thought. He dug out the caramel notebook to be sure. He found the entry he needed.
Prayers, she’d said.Surrounded by prayers.
They sat in a tiny coffee shop beside the Thames. The barges were at work. Horns honking. Seagulls crying.
The pages of the lab report were strewn around them. He needed to go over them again. With Claire. He needed to talk about the latest death in connection with the school. With Claire.
Somewhere along the way the officer who never wanted a partner suddenly needed one.
And he needed Claire.
“So,” Jamie said, papers rattling in his hands, “the substance on the boy was olive oil, and sweet calamus.”
“Um-hmm,” Claire mused distractedly. “Used in Anointing of the Sick.”
Her fingers flew over the keyboard of her laptop.
“The school is small. Very small. I imagine it’s because of how rigorous it is.” Her hair was tied back in a messy bun. Pinned up hastily. One lone tendril corkscrewed down her neck.
“Rigorous how?” The answer lay in this school. He knew it. Felt it.
“Well, most Catholic schools give you a simple, very basic education of the Faith. Daily prayers, Masses for special events. This one says students participate in Daily Mass. Confessions every Friday. There are 3 priests on staff, besides the Head Master. The rest of the teachers are lay people. No cell phone policy. No personal electronic devices allowed. And the uniform is something out of the dark ages, really.”
Claire looked over at him. “It’s not structured like most Catholic schools, but it’s not unheard of. A bit old-school, I guess.” She twisted the computer so he could see it.
Jamie pulled it towards him to look more carefully.
Claire stretched, her back tight.
“The only thing that bothers me,” she said, “is the fact that he didn’t have any meds in his system.”
Jamie gathered up the papers and put them back in the folder.
“I mean, there’s literally dozens of them. And in seventy percent of cases, they work wonders at controlling epilepsy!” As a doctor, this detail bothered her.
As an intuitive, this detail screamed at her.
He closed the lid on the laptop. “We’ll never find answers sitting here.” He drained his cup. “Come.”
“Where are we going?” Claire stood up, slipped her computer into her bag and reached for her jacket.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS NEW OPENING!!! There’s so much goodness!!!
I like how they highlighted all the characters & put their names next to them
But most importantly…teenage Boruto!!! Jdixhbsbsjdkkd! He was the Uzumaki swirl on the back! Finally! Yasss! Embrace your roots! His jacket is so cool! I want one! Where to cop?!
Also, they highlighted Shino, Anko, Konohamaru & Kakashi, so we about to see a lot of them in the upcoming episodes. (So excited to see more of hay silver haired angel)
This boy, idk his name & who cares but he got the audacity to be talkin spicy with blonde hair & black brows! Omg! Offensive!
Lmao Inojin is all about a perfect time to read someone. He doesn’t miss a beat.
Mitsuki’s eyes glow in the dark. He can’t get any cooler, can he???
My nephews are so talented!!!
What kinda ninja are these Hidden Mist mfs?! Didn’t they do their research on their opponents??? Cause if they did, they would know that they are sickening & their parents are LEGENDS! But I mean, get your ass whooped by prodigies if ya want.
I already knew Kagura was Yagura’s grandson but that whole thing where he snaps & gets blood lust, that’s interesting. I wonder what that attributes to. Cause wasn’t Yagura under Obito’s control the whole time this Blood Mist situation happened?
“Are you really genin?” LMAO! Mitsuki didn’t even break a sweat.
This ain’t the first or last time my bad ass kids will have other nations SHOOK! I’m so proud.
Aww. Mitsuki considers all his classmates his friends?! #BorutosImpact
It upsets me knowing ALL that Naruto went through to establish world peace & mfs don’t know how to act & wanna fuck that up. I want the hands. Line them up.
Omg Inojin’s jammies are so cute! Lol
Mitsuki doesn’t have jammies cause he doesn’t have to sleep. I’ve concluded.
This shinobi card game is giving me uno vibes. Might get into a fist fight depending what card you draw.
Kisame’s son gotta chill. Like, your daddy made his own sharks eat him. That’s not what you want in your life.
Happy Blackout!!! The top photo is in honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party of Self Defense. The last picture was taken at the opening of the African American of History and Culture’s opening where Public Enemy, Living Colour, and The Roots performed. (Jacket by Reformed School). (Photo creds in order : @jamesjuly, @36chambersof-oldirtybae, Paul Holston) (also I wear the jacket more for historical relevance than for gender)
Hey everyone! This is my first Choices based fanfic, with Jake and Fia (my MC). This is for Round 1 prompt of #ChoicesCreates “My heart finally told me to stop wasting my time.” Now, this would have made more sense before the last chapter came out, but I’d written everything except the first paragraph and I like the story too much not to publish it, so here’s a slightly more PG version of what happened after the rooftop. (also, trying to get this in for the deadline so please ignore any typos). Hope you like it, let me know what you think!
Warnings: Alcohol, Language, Mature themes, spoilers from the last couple chapters. 2000+ Words