“And the teams are out on the field, looking
decided - and pretty scary if you ask me! Jamie “King of Men” Fraser leading Oxford and Tom Christie commanding the
Edinburgh fellows!” The speaker roared, as the stands applauded and cheered, a
jungle of whistles and shouts of incentive. “You can tell the rivalry is strong
in this one - the winning team today will definitely be the front runner
heading to the Championships next month!”
“Jamie looks focused.” Ian commented next to
Claire, clapping as the Oxford team players were announced by the speaker. “And
Christie looks like gloom and doom – I bet he isna up to anything good.”
“I’m sure our team will handle it.” Claire
replied, adjusting her sunglasses – the sun was out that morning, apparently
eager to pay testimony to a much anticipated rugby game. As Jamie’s name was
called and he briefly waved at the crowd, screams and chanting enhanced
tenfold, as if the volume switch had been turned to maximum. “Is that the new
player?” She asked curious, noticing the young man sitting on the bench, his blonde
hair glowing like a marigold in the sunlight.
“Aye.” Ian smiled. “John Grey was the one
drafted – too bad there wasna enough time for him to become better acquainted
with the team. Our current scrum half is rubbish and John seems to be a great
“What a shame!” Claire agreed. Jamie and Tom
approached the centre of the field to shake hands, a duel of crushing grips,
their eyes locking with unspoken promises of a ruthless game.
The Edinburgh team kicked off with brutal
intensity, taking the lead with an early drop goal. Tom Christie was indeed a
good player, Claire had to recognize – he seemed to make the rest of his
colleagues better just by interacting with them, pushing them to their limits –
a lot like Jamie did.
“It seems like Fraser was just warming up!” The
speaker pointed with excitement in his voice. “He is leading the team to a try –
the Edinburgh boys will need to catch a ride with a motorcycle to be able to
get to him!” And soon enough Jamie grounded the ball over the opponent’s goal
line, awakening huge clamours from the cheering crowd.
The next few minutes were hectic, with both teams
achieving scoring points – they were fairly equated, both having some
weaknesses and a couple of extraordinary players. The game became rougher, with
a couple of ugly tackles taking place, the nastier one inflicted by Christie on
Jamie. Claire’s heart tightened when she saw him projected in the air – echoes of
the game with Northumbria and his head injury racing through her mind – but he
promptly got up and raised a thumb to ease the mind of the howling crowd. They
reached the halftime with Edinburgh on the lead, having been awarded a penalty
point after an infringement from Oxford’s scrum half.
“I canna believe we might lose this!” Ian
clenched his teeth, looking thoroughly annoyed. “I canna stand the idea of Tom
Christie prancing about our campus, gloating after their victory!”
“It’s not over yet.” She said in a cheerful
tone, looking as Jamie talked and gesticulated with the coach. He seemed
irritated with something and kept throwing evaluating looks at their scrum half
and then at John Grey. “I think we might be in for a surprise.”
When the halftime was over, the substitution was
made – clearly a joint decision from Jamie and the coach - and John Grey entered
the field for the first time wearing Oxford’s colours, looking pale but
As soon as they made the formation, Grey threw
the ball into it and moved as lightening to the hindmost foot of the scrum, neatly
picking up the ball and passing it - like a guided missile - to the hands of Oxford’s
fly half, the captain himself, Jamie Fraser. With the proceeding game, it
became quite clear that Grey was not only an outstanding player – with a knack
for impossible passes and agile as a gazelle in avoiding Christie’s tackles -,
but also that he and Jamie were meant to play together. They seemed to predict
each other’s moves with easiness and stormed the field like dancers in a
physical duet, battering the Edinburgh team’s lines and inspiring the rest of
Oxford’s players. A short stretch of time was enough for them to recover from
the disadvantage at the score board, sealed with a mind-blowing drop goal that
made the fans go crazy.
Chanting propagated like a tribal calling in
the stands, encouraging both Jamie and John, which by then had already earned
the right of a nom de guerre – John “The Lord” Grey.
referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the game, a joyful wave of blue
crashed on the grass, as Oxford’s players ran and jumped on top of Jamie and
John – the solid foundation of a victorious human pyramid. Claire looked around,
grinning as Ian fist bumped the air – her heart overflowing with pride,
noticing the gigantic smiles all around her. Jamie was hugging an incredulous
John, complimenting him on his achievements – the promise of a legendary
friendship being born on a cloudless day.
“You’re late.” Claire announced, as Jamie
arrived half running, his hair flaming on the light of dusk - as if the sun was
setting inside him.
“I’m sorry, mo
nighean donn.” He kissed her forehead in apology, as she pursued her lips
and began the task of fixing the collar of his shirt. “I went for a run with
John and lost track of time discussing some tactics.”
“That’s alright.” She sighed, bumping his nose.
“Ian called to say he’ll be meeting us there. Is John coming too?”
“Aye.” Jamie caught her hand and entwined their
fingers, as they began to walk together. It was the college’s anniversary – a big
milestone, even for such an ancient institution – and a fancy party was taking
place in the Main Hall, where lots of prominent students and alumnae would be
gathered to celebrate. “He went to his dorm to shower and will meet us there.”
“You quite like him, don’t you?” Claire asked,
caressing the back of his hand with her thumb. “You two became quite close in
this last month – always training together and talking.”
“John is a kind, good-hearted, man.” Jamie
agreed. “Talking to him always seems easy and uncomplicated – a lot like
talking to you, actually.” He smiled, the corner of his mouth twitching. “And
we’re much stronger as a team since he came on board. We might actually have a
chance at the Championships.”
“Should I be jealous?” She elbowed him,
playfully, in a mock pretence of grievance. “You have been spending more time
with him than me, that’s for sure.”
“John Grey might be an interesting lad and a
good friend.” He let go of her hand and held her by the waist, the tip of his
fingers brushing the curve of her buttock, hidden under the emerald green
fabric of her cocktail dress. “But he doesna have an arse like yers, Sassenach.
You will always be number one in my book, especially when ye wear such a nice
dress – A Dhia, I can feel ye underneath
it. Do we really have to go anywhere at all?”
“Always making me feel special.” Claire replied
dramatically, offering him a light peck on the lips – careful not to smudge her
discrete lipstick – and then a possessive squeeze of his own hardened and well-shaped
derrière. “Enough time for me to wear
your shirt later.”
The vast room was already filled with people,
wearing unusually elegant garments – girls with dresses of vivid colours,
forming a spontaneous bouquet against the blooming light of chandeliers and
sparkling glasses – luring men in their suits with promises of hidden secrets.
Jazz music played in the background, setting the rhythm to conversations and
filling the gaps of silence in some awkward exchanges.
Claire and Jamie smiled to a couple of acquaintances
and waved to some colleagues, as they made their way into the heart of the
party. They were standing close together, talking about Claire’s classes, when
a male voice imposed over their conversation.
“Claire?” Frank Randall smiled at her, his
brows furrowing when he glanced at Jamie from the corner of his eye. “It’s good
to see you.”
“Hello, Frank.” She greeted him, turning around.
“It’s nice to see you too.”
“Fraser.” Frank acknowledge Jamie with a small
nod of his head, his thin lips forming a weak attempt at a pleasant smile. “Congratulations
on that fantastic game with Edinburgh last month. Very well played.”
“Thank ye, Professor Randall.” Jamie gave him a
relaxed smile and turned to Claire. “Mo
nighean donn, I think I’ll go and say hello to Ian and John. I’ll see ye in
a bit.” He kissed her cheek and squeezed her fingers in goodbye, offering her strength
– reassuring her of his trust and love – and walked away, towering over the
“I was wondering…” Frank hawked, his fingers
fidgeting with the glass of champagne he was holding. “If we could talk.”
“We are already talking, I daresay.” Claire
pointed, accepting a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, offered by a
passing waiter. “What is it, Frank?”
yes.” He licked his lips, quickly looking around them, scanning for anyone
within earshot. ““It has become my understanding that you and James Fraser are
dating.” He said in a hurry, as if he was running away from his own words. “Is
“I don’t see how that would be any of your business.”
Claire replied in a dry tone, raising a brow. “We haven’t been together in a
long time, Frank. But yes - everybody knows Jamie is my – very serious - boyfriend. It’s not exactly a secret.”
“I see.” He swallowed hard, avoiding her
piercing amber eyes, and glancing at her silver ring. “I thought maybe it was a
fleeting dalliance. I believed you fancied someone more refined – more polished.”
“Is that what you are?” Claire asked gently, anger and resentment completely
absent from her words. “Because I was under the impression things didn’t work
out between us – and not by any fault of mine, Frank. If only you had been
happy sleeping with one student at a time, perhaps we would be together until
“I deserve that.” Frank pinched his nose with
his skinny fingers. “I was terribly foolish to hurt you, Claire. You are, by
far, the most singular woman I ever met.”
“I’m happy you did.” She said softly, looking
intently at him. “I only met Jamie because of it – and everything that led me
to him has my deepest gratitude.”
“I was under the impression you still had some…feelings for me.” He whispered in a
strained voice. “You are always so charming and pleasant every time we meet and
have a conversation.”
“I’m over you, Frank.” Claire affirmed, trying
to infuse some kindness into the situation, but getting increasingly more uncomfortable.
“That’s why I’m nice when we talk. I don’t have any repressed feelings – no secret
expectations of you wanting me back. You were important to me, once – I offer
you the respect that position deserves. Nothing less – nothing more.”
“I have seen how you look at him. The pride and joy in your eyes.”
Frank bit his words. “Did you ever love me?”
“I did.” She whispered, softly. “But not like
that – not how I love him.”
“He knows about us, doesn’t he?” He brushed his
short dark hair. “And yet he left you with me. Maybe he doesn’t care all that
“What we have has no room for mistrust or lies.”
She smiled, distracted, her eyes already searching for Jamie amongst the crowd.
“He left because he respects me. Because he trusts me – us - with all his heart.”
“I wish you happiness, Claire.” Frank finally turned
away, hiding the pain in his eyes.
“Be happy too, Frank.” She tilted her head. “As
Claire searched for Jamie inside the room –
spending quite some time in pushing through the animated crowd and stopping to
exchange pleasantries with teachers from the medical department, some already
quite inebriated. He was nowhere within sight, so Claire decided to search for
When the big oak doors caved under the pressure
of her hands, she was saluted by the night’s cold breeze, the taste of oranges
and jasmine on the back of her throat. It seemed like the party had extended beyond
the premises of the Hall - students were scattered in the lawn in front of the
building, laughing and talking in small groups.
She spotted Jamie – looking magnificent in his
grey suit pants and light blue shirt - talking to John – clad in black and grey
- under the shadows of a cypress. They were tall and beautiful, like legends of
days long forgotten, best friends in times of peace and warriors when the
occasion called for such actions. John was talking rapidly to Jamie, who seemed
to be entirely amused by whatever was being said. Eventually he whispered back
to John and they both laughed together.
Claire could tell the moment Jamie had spotted
her – even at distance his eyes seemed to soften and the corners of his mouth
were pushed on an eager smile. He patted John’s back in farewell and started to
walk towards her.
For an instant she could see John Grey, left
behind as Jamie made his way to her, and a shiver shot through her spine. It
was like looking into a strange mirror - his eyes betrayed exactly the same desire
and adoration that could be found within her own.
Last part of the extras! They’re only characthers profiles but, to be honest, those are one of my fave things. Also, thaks to them we can confirm that Lizzie and Tohei are a couple for real, just in case any of you were wondering.
Name: Kyo Hyuga (Japan) Age: 20 Height: 176 cm Weight: 75 kg Base: Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
Favourite food:Umeboshhi adn anything that mixes well with rice
Hates: Erotic novels in wich the climax is too sudden Eye colour: Black: / Blood group: A DOB: September 21 (Virgo) What he prefers the most in aquariums:
When the manager is around and offer to give some explanations.
Son of a
bureaucrat and a University teacher, he has always received an exceptional education. Ay high school he was forced to Join the Rugby club, in which he was scrum-half, but he never got along with his team and it wasn’t strong. It was going to go to University but he run away from home and joined First Cutody with Tatsuhiro. he listens to AM radio.
Name: Tatsuhiro Someya (Japan) (Yeap, there’s a printing error in the volume) Age: 20 Height: 194 cm Weight: 165 kg Japan Ranking: 2
Favourite food: roasted beef and guts in a questionable cooked condition. Hates: Combini that doesn’t have the Champion magazine Eye colour: Light brown / Blood group: B DOB: August 8 (Leo) What he prefers the most in aquariums: When he worries about the rock that spent all time underwater
His father was Fijian and his mother Russian-Chinese but their citizenship was denied as well as Tatsuhiro’s custody. He was adopted by and old couple from Saitama. At high school he played rugby and he managed to get a position in a very elitist centre. However as he tend to get sick and his asthma worsened he had to abandon the sport and go to a public school. He listens radio in FM and hater people who feel special for listening it in AM. He straightens his hair. He was in 8th position before.
Name: Jochi Hongo (Japan) Age: 26 Height: 180 cm Weight:82 kg Base: Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria) Japan ranking: 6
Favourite food: dry fish, miso soup Hates: rugby clubs that do not level the field after raining Eye colour: black/ Blood group: AB DOB: December 29 (Capricorn) What he prefers the most in aquariums: Thay they let you touch sea cucumbers and other animals
His parents were an office worker and a stay at home mom. He had good grades and was great at soccer so he was quite popular among girls. He wasn’t very talkative and looked really serious so even when a girl declared herself to him after about three dates he would stop recieving more invitations. He kept his distance with women, his sister included, because he considered them as
As he has always lived in a small flat, his dream is to live in the country in a huge house and with a big dog. He’s able to play in any position but as he doesn’t like recieving indications he prefers being on the front.
Name: Sho Saito (Japan) Age:21 Height: 168 cm Weight: 60 kg Base:
Mediterranean field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus)
Hates: Maths Eye colour: Dark / Blood group: 0 DOB: November 24 (Sagittarius ) Favourite classic: Analects of Confucius
He changed schools several times in primary and when he was in 4th grade he met Akari. After finishing basi education he started working for a while but when the medical costs of his mother started to accumulate he started working illegally and became a gang member. In a few years he became the boss of a criminal gang in Tokyo. He learnt English, Chinese and Spanish, which are the languages that his clients and subordinates use. He’s not good studying but he’s great collaborating with people. His target women include from his age to 20 years older than him.
Name: Tohei Tachibana (Japan) Age: 19 Height: 176 cm Weight: 64 kg Base: Rat
Favourite food: Rice with egg Hates: Tough steak Eye colour: brown DOB: July 7 (cancer)
He’s a genius that reached University at 17, passed all the subjest of 4 years in one and specialized in
aerospace engineering and IT systems. His skill with compures are high level. His dream is to become an astronaut and his second dan in karate.
His parents passed aways when he was a kid and was raised in a orphanage that was destroyed because of a fire. He sold himself to U-NASA to get money to rebuild it, he doesn’t regret it.
His recent worry is that his romantic partner has become more “agressive”
Name: Elizabeth Rony Age: 19 Height: 168 cm Weight: 52 kg Base: Domestic cat
Favourite food: not too tender steaks Hates: rice with raw eggs Eye colour: Blue / Blood group: B DOB: May 5 (taurus) Boxer she admires: Keiji Onizuka
Former Bantamweight champion in the boxing nationals from USA in high school. At 16 she killed her opponent and sold herself to U-NASA to pay the compensantion and as a punishment. She doesn’t regret it at all.
Her most recent worry is that her romantic partner does not make any kind of advance even when she’s looking for him.
Tohei you fucking chicken! Dumbshit virgin!WHAT?! MY CUP? E, any problem?
+6*-9 (I’m gonna leave this as a reminder of what implies trying to write when living with a kitten)
I’m back!!! I wanted to thank everyone for the
lovely and heart-warming displays of affection and good luck wishes – you guys
are just amazing. I really missed writing, even more than I thought I would. I’m
a bit rusty now, but I hope I’ll eventually get there again. See you on the
other side! <3
“Are ye sure ye’ll be alright?” Jamie asked,
concerned. He rubbed Claire’s fingers, still slightly trembling, as they sneaked
behind Mr.Culpepper’s back to head out of the male dorm.
“Perfectly alright.” She offered him an attempt
at a reassuring smile. “Pretty sure I can manage to navigate my way to the
pharmacy. I won’t let you get late for practice. I know how decisive the next
few weeks will be.”
“Aye.” Jamie nodded. “With the Championships
coming we must come together as a team. Actually, the coach will be drafting a
new team member today – we are in dire need of a decent scrum half.” His gaze
drifted away, as if he was already seeing the players crossing the field, human
weapons meant for cheering and building uplifting victories, not for destruction.
Eventually his eyes regained focus, he smiled and gently placed his big hand on
the curve of her back. “But ye are my priority, Sassenach. I can call and let
them know I’ll be running late.”
“No need to.” Claire gave him a light peck on
the lips. “I’ll go and get it. Then I’ll go watch you train and attend to my
cheerleading duties.” She flared her nostrils, like a slightly annoyed mare
contemplating a particularly stubborn fly. “God knows there is enough of that, even without me – but I know you like
to have me there, supporting you.”
They shared one final embrace, inhaling each
other soothing scent, before Jamie was headed to the rugby field, running to
begin his warm up.
Claire walked to the nearby pharmacy,
sheltering her cold hands on the deep pockets of her blue overcoat, amusing
herself with the way her breathing came out of her mouth in spirals of steam,
as if a dragon was nestled, peacefully asleep, inside her chest.
As she stepped into the pharmacy, trying her
best to appear casual and innocent, the woman behind the counter, sporting an
imposing unibrow, smiled and greeted her.
“What can I do for you, Miss?” She said in a
pleasant tone, while Claire fidgeted with her wallet, stalling.
A couple of elderly ladies was standing in line
behind Claire, awaiting their turns to fill their prescriptions, undoubtedly victims
of the nasty flu outbreak. They looked like regular attendees of Sunday Mass,
the type that defended abstinence as the only contraceptive method possible –
to avoid getting a ticket both to maternity ward and Hell. Summoning all her boldness,
Claire decided that the best approach was to come straight out with it.
“May I have a pregnancy test, please?” She
“Of course, dear.” The woman said, offering her
a small smile that might have been a display of camaraderie, and padding into
the next room to get the scandalous item. The sound of active gossiping was
getting louder behind her and Claire didn’t resist the urge to give a narrow
and cold look of reproach over her shoulder, expecting to shame the audience
“She will be a beautiful mother though, don’t
you think?” One of them was whispering, her small eyes sparkling behind the rim
of her glasses, with what could only be described as “grandmother lust”.
With her heart melting - and thinking that
maybe something good could be said about people wishing well on strangers, even
if a bit of a nosy attitude was involved - Claire received the small package
and the succinct instructions offered by the pharmacist and made her way out
into the cold air.
As she walked, Claire felt like she was carrying
something alive and pulsing inside her purse – a secret about to be revealed,
both terrifying and magnificent. A weight had been lifted from her heart by
sharing her doubts with Jamie, but now she was carrying it on her shoulder -
the burden of their future. Two paths were forming clearly ahead and Claire
knew the decisive compass was now waiting inside her purse, sharing space with
pens, rumpled handkerchiefs and scattered coins.
She was scared. So terrified. Having no reference of a motherly figure from her own
life, she seriously doubted her abilities to care for another being in the
right way. Was there a secret to tuck in sheets tighter? Was there a special
cologne she ought to use, to make herself smell like warmth and home, the most
vivid memory she had of her own mother? How was she to learn the secret way of
words, how to guide without dictate; how to deny and yet show that the ultimate
answer was always love?
Things would be hard. Becoming a parent at such
a young age wasn’t part of her plans – or Jamie’s. But the image of him was
trapped inside her head – the heartbreaking softness about him when he had
touched her belly, the promise as alive in his palm as it had been in his
words. To protect and love. The
emotions flowing through him – even if he had tried to put them in check,
knowing her vulnerable and afraid - having lost so much in the past few weeks,
the idea of a family of his own was healing him, in a way that even her lingering
kisses could not.
She still had doubts, but she had one unshakeable
certainty – either now or someday in the distant future, Jamie would be the
father of her children. She already loved him for the man that he was to her; and
now she could love him even more - for the father he would become.
believe ye and Jenny argued about something sae foolish.” Jamie babbled, fazed.
He was standing next to Ian, watching the new recruits receiving their
instructions for the exercises they were about to begin. “She kens ye only have
eyes for her.”
“Och, aye.” Ian groaned. “Ye know your sister.
Once she gets something in her head, God himself with a hammer couldna get it
out. The moment I told her I won’t be able to go visit for a few weeks, she was
adamant that I must have found “an
educated whore””. He moved his fingers in the air to make apparent that he
was quoting her word by word. “The wee lass made quite a stramash. I thought
maybe she could do with my absence and decided to head straight back – ye ken,
to force her to see the error of her ways.”
“Ye were that afraid she would kick ye in the
baws, then?” Jamie laughed. “Ran away in the middle of the night?”
“I happen to quite like my testicles.” Ian
grumbled. “I met the Edinburgh team on the train. Are they coming for a match?”
“Yes.” Jamie followed with his eyes the candidates,
now in the middle of a drill to test their velocity. His fingers were tapping
the side of his thigh. “We’ll do a small amiable game tomorrow.” He tilted his
chin to point a young man amongst the scattered players, blonde hair shinning
in the timid morning sun. He wasn’t really imposing – not it the way Jamie
himself was commanding, with his amazing height and broad shoulders. But he was
agile and had a grace about him that made him suitable for some sleek
movements. “That lad is very impressive. Do ye know him?”
“I think his name is John Grey. I talked to him
a few times in the pub, seemed humble and witty – he’s in the Political Science
department, I believe.” Ian whistled, as John made a particular successful pass.
“Nice. Do ye think he is the one?”
“He might just be.” Jamie agreed, rubbing his
face in concern as a crowd of stocky and tall men appeared on the sidelines of
the field, all of them wearing red jumpers with blue letters. “It seems the
Edinburgh lads canna wait to watch us play.”
“That’s enough, ladies!” Coach MacQuarrie
barked and the prospective players came to a sudden halt. “Thank you for
coming. I’ll decide who will join the team and post it this afternoon of the
board outside the locker room. Now, you’re welcome to stay and watch some real
rugby being played!”
The dismissed players groaned acknowledgements and
words of incitement – someone attempted to sway Taran MacQuarrie’s stony heart
with a salute of “Team Oxford!” – and they all left the field with different
looks of tiredness and hope. John Grey passed near Jamie, taking off his blue
sweatshirt to start training, and presented them with a shy smile and a wave to
Ian. His eyes were blue and warm, but he shielded them well – there was no
visible display of expectations or cockiness, even after his masterful
The actual training began, with Jamie doing an
effort to avoid the buzzing coming from the Edinburgh team. They were clearly
on a mission to ensue chaos and probably have one – or more – of the Oxford
players hurt or punished for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
They were halfway through practice when Jamie,
taking a couple of minutes to drink water and dry his forehead and damp hair
with a towel, noticed Claire waving at him. She was accompanied by Geillis
Duncan, her roommate - she apparently had come to greet some acquaintances from
He had been unconsciously worried for Claire
and the idea of leaving her alone at such a trying time – a wave of relief
washed over him, as he watched her smile tenderly. Jamie had the sudden image
of Claire with her belly swollen with their child, naked and writhing under him
– and the desire that propagated through his body, arousing him mercilessly,
almost took his breath away. He folded over, kneeling to pretend he was
checking his shoelaces, visceral lust and a primitive desire to protect filling
his ears with a deafening sound.
Some of the young men surrounding Geillis had
noticed Claire’s beauty – one of them was close to her, trying to pick up her attention
and initiate a conversation. Jamie watched as Claire smiled politely and shook
her head, a finger vaguely pointing in his direction, probably implying that
she was there to see him.
“Neo-geimnidh meala!” Jamie heard the man
laugh. And the world suddenly was narrowed to a pulsing point, the newfound
enemy in its centre, his sole intent to abolish the threat as he ran to him.
Seamus!” Ian grabbed Jamie’s back and tried to pull him away from his
opponent. The Gaelic, the language of his dreams, was the thing that managed to
penetrate his haze, more than his friend’s efforts. Jamie was on top of the
man, his hands nestled around his neck like a punishing rope placed by the
executioner. “Gu leoir, a charaid!”
stad!” A voice demanded, overpowering all the mayhem, while players from
both teams cheered, incited and insulted each other.
Jamie stood up, wiping his mouth with the back
of his hand. His lips tasted like blood and bitterness, as if anger had
suddenly acquired a distinct taste.
“Jamie, are you alright?” Claire asked,
searching for injuries with her whiskey-coloured eyes.
“Aye.” He nodded, his eyes fixed on the man
that had stopped the fight, now helping his teammate to get up. They knew each
other well – had been in the same classroom back in Scotland and were tied
together by their shared past – even if friendship had never united them.
“Tom.” Jamie acknowledge in a hoarse voice.
“James.” Tom Christie answered, bending his
head just enough to make it seem like a sign of respect. “Seems I made a timely
arrival – barely managed to avoid you mangling my player.”
“Are you in the Edinburgh team, then?” Jamie
asked. Claire was next to him, her hand grasping the back of shirt in a tight
fist, undoubtedly feeling his tension. Ian was on his right side, arms folded,
glaring at Tom Christie like he was an unpleasant object, even if somewhat amusing.
“I’m team captain.” The dark-haired man replied
dryly. “Is this how you receive guests in this college, Fraser?”
Jamie gritted his teeth. “Insulted Claire.”
“And who is Claire?” Tom asked with scorn,
raising an eyebrow.
“I am.” Claire answered, defiantly. She crossed
her arms and raised her chin. “You can save the apologies from your
cave-dweller friend, though – I don’t speak troglodyte.”
Every Oxford player laughed and even some
visitors made poor attempts of hiding amused smiles behind theirs hands,
simulating concern. Tom Christie was
pale, his mouth slightly ajar.
“Well, then.” He babbled. “I’ll offer them
anyway…Claire. I don’t like to think
my players are any less courteous and chivalrous than the ones you have here.”
“I doubt that.” Claire gave him a lopsided smile,
quickly glancing at Jamie with pride. “But you are welcome to try and prove me
Although emotions were still running high,
everyone settled enough for the training to proceed. Jamie’s teammates
surrounded him the entire time, building a wall between him and the inflammatory
looks from Tom and his teammates, acting as shields to their captain. Claire
remained next to Geillis, but prudently away from the visiting team – her posture
show concern and tension.
After being yelled at by Coach MacQuarrie –
more concerned with the possibility of him breaking a hand and being forced to
sit out the Championships, seriously jeopardizing their chances of winning the
whole thing, than by any displays of less than stellar behaviour – Jamie made
his way to Ian to collect his bag and head out for lunch.
“Never thought I’d be meeting Tom Christie
again.” Jamie sighed. “If we win tomorrow, what do you suppose will happen? He
doesna like losing – least of all to me.”
“Tom never liked ye and made no secret of his
animosity, a charaid. The man is a
jealous one and yer talent in the rugby field made him green with envy, as did
yer easiness with people and yer charms with the lassies.” Ian smiled in excuse
for pointing so blatantly Jamie’s attributes. “But now, the look on his face…”
“What do ye mean, Ian?” Jamie asked in a low
voice, his eyes never drifting from the sight of Tom Christie and his comrades,
still laughing and mocking – him? Probably.
- on the other side of the field.
“He has the look of a man who covets everything
you hold dear, a bhalaich.” Jamie
turned his head and watched Ian’s face, serious and intent, his eyes squinting
in the direction of the stands. “Of someone ready to try and steal what is most
precious to you.”
And Jamie watched as Claire smiled to Geillis,
the midday sun awakening gold and bronze in her hair, heedless of the wolfish grey
eyes studying her across the field, famished and calculating.
ballet femlock and rugby fem john like ghsjnahksj please i know i'm vague but anything along these lines
Say no more.
“TACKLE HER!” John hears a scream from the benches but can’t look up. The girl standing in front of her is enormous; six-foot at the very least (John is five-foot one on a good day so she may be exaggerating) and probably at least a hundred and seventy pounds. But the disembodied voice from the bleachers is right; she’s fifteen metres from scoring and John has no backup, so she bites down on her mouth guard, squats, wraps, and feels herself and the prop pitch forward. Impact.
“HIT!” she screams, and rolls out of the way while her teammates form the ruck. “Losing, losing, losing!” they shout, throwing their whole mass into it. John watches and the scrum half darts underneath and passes it to her. She sprints full force toward the scoring line and hears someone cry “I’m with you!” behind her, so she passes and falls back, ready to support.
When the play is over (they scored, ending the game at 2-1), John is drenched in sweat and covered in grass stains. She notices Sherlock sitting in the bleachers.
“Was that you?” she asks, giggling. “Screaming something about tackling?”
Sherlock blinks. Her eyeshadow is the same color as her eyes. “Well. Yes.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be at the theatre like, now?”
“I had to watch you score,” says Sherlock, dressed in jeans and a button-down that John knows she’ll trade for a tutu in a few short minutes. Her hair is pulled back in a severe bun, not a loose strand, so different from the way she always wears it on off days, down, bushy curls running wild.
John shivers. Knowing that it’ll attract some stares, she pulls her shirt over her head and sits there in her sports bra, her stomach pudge spilling over the top of her rugby shorts. But at least she’s not sitting around in a wet t-shirt anymore.