Red Jamie and the White Lady AU - Part 1
Well, this is the random plot bunny I had earlier today. I really have NO idea where this is going. I’m really intrigued by it though, so we’ll all have to wait and see I suppose. Tell me if you think I should continue on with this or just let it die. Not sure how many parts it should/will have.
I don’t think I’ve ever written anything with Geillis in it before, so I’m not sure how well it works. Let me know what y’all think!!
Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp was a practical woman - belief in fairy tales, knights in shining armor, and love everlasting just didn’t have a place in her life. Geillis Duncan, her best friend and roommate, was the complete opposite. Claire often wondered to herself how they’d become friends, with so little in common.
“I don’t believe you,” Geillis said one night, tossing her thick, blonde hair over one shoulder.
“It doesn’t matter if you believe me. That has no bearing on the truth.”
Geillis’ green eyes rolled hard and she finished her glass of whiskey.
“How can you not believe in true love?”
“Because it doesn’t exist! Love is just a chemical reaction between two people who find each other visually appealing. Nothing more.”
“You mean to tell me,” Geillis said, sitting forward in her seat. “That you don’t believe your parents didn’t love each other?”
The blood drained from Claire’s naturally pale face.
“That was low and you know it.”
“Just because it still hurts doesn’t mean you should avoid it. They loved each other, didn’t they?”
“I wouldn’t know. I was too young when they both died. You know that, Geillis. Why would you bring it up?”
Her best friend, and often best source of irritation, stared at her curiously.
“There’s something about you, Claire. Always has been. Like you belong somewhere else.”
Claire grabbed Geillis’ bottle of her favorite whiskey and looked at it dramatically.
“Exactly how much was in this when you started drinking?”
“I’m not drunk! But I believe you are the product of true love, and that’s a rare thing. EVEN IF,” she said loudly to interrupt Claire’s protest. “You don’t believe in it, I do. And true love is the most powerful magic in the universe.”
With a sigh, she put the cap back on the whiskey and took her empty glass to the kitchen. They’d had this discussion before, at least a hundred times. But Claire was a practical woman. True love wasn’t practical or useful.
A small part of her, and she’d never admit this to Geillis, also believed no man had yet been worthy of her love - had she any to give. Even the one she was currently seeing was a calculated choice, not an infatuation. Frank was smart, had a successful career as a university professor, and had a good future. Herself newly finished with her medical training, she saw a comfortable future with Frank. Perhaps a child or two, once they got married. He was the practical choice, a good match of intellect and physical attraction. What else was there to look for in a man?
“You talk like you’ve felt this elusive true love before.”
“And what if I have?” Geillis asked from the depths of her room. “Would that change anything for you?”
“I can count on one fist the number of men you’ve loved, Geillis Duncan. We’ve been friends far too long for you to get away with that.”
Geillis returned to the front room dressed in her favorite baggy shirt and trousers, ready for their weekly film date.
Claire held up a fist and tried to count her fingers.
“That’s… None. Geillis, you’ve never been in love with anyone.”
“That is not true! I fall in love all the time! I LOVE love!”
“Nooo,” Claire said slowly, walking down to her own room. “You fall in lust. You bring him home, shag the hell out of him, and send him packing before the sheets have cooled.”
As she, too, dressed in her sleeping outfit, she heard Geillis snort.
“Just because I fall in love all the time doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.”
“I long for the day,” Claire said, emerging as Geillis put a DVD into the player. “When you finally meet the man you’re just meant to be with. We’ll see what you say then.”
Those too-green eyes lit and glinted at her.
“You said when. Not if. When. As if you believe it could happen…”
“It could happen to you, perhaps. Not to me. I don’t have any use for those sorts of things.”
Geillis hit play on the DVD remote, but turned to face Claire on their small couch.
“What if I could prove it.”
“Hush, Geillis. The film is starting.”
After making a sound of irritation, she paused the movie and waited for Claire to look at her.
“So? What if I could prove it?”
“But if I could?”
Claire shrugged, at a loss. She had no idea what it was Geillis was getting at.
“What if you could? What do you want?”
“I want you to fall in love. That reckless, all-consuming passion. You can’t expect me to believe that beanpole you’re seeing is a good lover.”
Claire’s face, always too easy to read and too pale, flushed deep red. Geillis smiled, smelling victory.
“I’ll have you know Frank is an excellent lover. NOT that it’s any of your business.”
“Would you leave Frank if you knew there was something better out there, waiting for you? If I could prove to you that true love does exist?”
With a sigh, Claire knew they’d never get this movie properly started while Geillis was fixated on something.
“If, and that’s a very BIG if, you could prove to me, without a doubt, that true love exists and I have some bloody soul mate waiting for me out there, yes. I’d leave Frank.”
A triumphant smile came to Geillis’ lips and she settled back in her seat, smug. There was no way in hell Claire would leave Frank, though. But she knew Geillis well enough by now to know that the only way to get her to stop was to give her what she wanted.
“Good. Because we’ve an appointment with a powerful psychic tomorrow.”
Claire barely contained her moan of irritation. This wouldn’t be the first time, or the last, that Geillis had dragged her to some psychic’s shop to have her palms read. The only benefit from those trips came in the form of Geillis paying for both their sessions and taking her out to lunch after.
“Besides,” Geillis said, hitting ‘play’ on the remote again. “It’s not as if Frank’s even proposed yet.”
Grudgingly, Claire followed her crazy best friend into a very ordinary looking shop. There were no signs or posters anywhere advertizing it as a psychic’s place of business. It didn’t really look like a shop at all, really. Claire was beginning to wonder if Geillis had set her up on a blind date. Again.
“Geillis, if you’ve-”
She stopped suddenly when she saw a large figure looming in a doorway.
“Morning, ladies. I take it you’re my first appointments?”
“Yes,” Geillis said, popping up from nowhere. “We are. I’m-”
“Please,” his deep, strong voice came. “Don’t tell me anything. It taints the reading.”
He stepped out from the shadows and Claire looked up to meet his eyes. They were a curious shade of blue, seemingly shifting in hue as she looked at them. The hair on his head was short and bright red, with a hint of a curl at the very tips. His eyes narrowed as he looked her over.
“I’ll see you first,” he announced abruptly.
Claire was about to protest and insist that Geillis had the first appointment, but he didn’t wait for her to agree. Instead, he turned and strode off into a back room, clearly expecting Claire to follow.
“Geillis you owe me,” she hissed as she rushed after him.
“Tell me everything!” Geillis called back.
The room was nothing like she expected. No crystal balls on a red velvet tablecloth, no candles or incense burning, no dim lighting or macabre art on the walls. It was quite simply, a plain sitting room. A small table had a teapot and settings for two, biscuits, and two large, comfortable looking chairs.
“Would you like some tea, Miss Beauchamp?”
Her mouth fell open, staring up at him.
“No,” he interrupted. “Geillis didn’t tell me anything about you. I’m not even the one that makes appointments.”
“So what are-”
She cut herself off when he offered her a cup of tea.
“You think I’m a fraud.”
Hiding her face behind the elegant cup, she tried to come up with an answer.
“That wasn’t a question, Miss Beauchamp, but a statement of fact.”
“Not your first time visiting a psychic then?”
Claire’s eyes rolled.
She was in the habit of giving out as little information as possible. That was how the others had worked, sucking information out of you until they could lie enough to convince you to believe it.
“I’m Jamie Fraser. When you’ve finished with your tea, I’ll read the leaves.”
“No crystal balls or seance?”
He shot her a wicked grin and shook his head.
“Well we’re not here to call up the dead, are we? I was given to understand you’re looking for your soulmate.”
Yet again, her mouth fell open.
“I… How did-”
“I’m very good at reading people, Miss Beauchamp. And you are quite an easy read, more so than most.”
“How in the hell do you always know what I’m about to say?!”
“Everything you think is written across your face, plain as day. As for the other things, well… Let’s just call it a family trait. My sister also has the Sight, though not as strong as mine. Her children will likely not inherit the gift, though it could still happen. How about we take a look at those leaves, hm?”
Handing the cup over, Claire fell silent and waited. Jamie got up and pulled an old book from a table in one corner, flipping through it for reference. His brows drew down in puzzlement.
“So tell me, oh seer. Am I to meet a tall, dark stranger and go on an adventure?”
“I’ve never seen leaves like this before,” he said absently, still staring at the table. “No’ in my whole life.”
She blinked in shock at the slip of an accent. Was he not an Englishman?
“I’d like to read your palm, if you don’t mind,” he said, sitting up suddenly. “It’ll be a part of your appointment. Won’t charge extra.”
“Oh, um… Alright?”
Holding her hands out, palm up, she offered them to him. He leaned over them, tracing the lines in her skin.
“This is quite unusual indeed.”
“I’ve never seen a lifeline forked like this. As if you’ve a big choice to make. Neither will lead to destruction, but one is clearly the better of the other.”
“Which one? What sort of choice?”
“I’m afraid I can’t answer those. But I can see you’ve a strong will. Always a good thing in a woman.”
His large fingers still traced her hand, warm against hers.
“Miss Beauchamp, would you mind returning later in the week for another reading? I’ve a few things I’d like to research and ask some experts about. You’re quite a mystery and I’d like to get to the bottom of it.”
“I don’t think-”
Meeting those unusually blue eyes, she watched them shift and change.
“Thank you. I’m afraid I’ve taken up yours and Geillis’ appointments and my next client will be here soon.”
“Something tells me Geillis won’t mind.”
“Have a lovely day, Miss Beauchamp.”
As soon as the women had left the house, Jamie slipped to the back and went up the stairs. He lived on the floor above where he met clients. Most were what anyone would expect, people seeking to remove the veil of mystery from the future. Few came looking for real answers and fewer still came and didn’t believe any of it.
But this Claire Beauchamp… He was sure they’d never met before, and yet he knew her. Knew her face, the way her tawny eyes evaluated the words he spoke. Somewhere in his mind, he knew the taste of her full lips, knew the feel of her body beneath his. He knew the sounds she made in the throes of passion, or her grunt of irritation when something didn’t work the way she hoped.
There was no other appointment after Geillis and Claire, that had been a lie. But he needed to check something, just to be sure. Throwing open the door to his library, he went straight for a shelf he’d scarcely looked at in five years.
Each leatherbound book had a date on the side. They were his dream journals, or the dreams he was sure had been visions. He hadn’t had a dream like that in some time, not since his father’s passing, but he had a niggling feeling.
Closing his eyes, he opened the book and began turning the pages without looking. He suddenly stopped, feeling that he’d reached the right place. When he looked down, his heart began to beat erratically.
Sketched on one entire page was the woman he’d just met with. Her gaze was piercing, even in a sketch, and he felt as if she was looking right at him. The dark, curling hair was wild around her, not fully contained on the page. Her lips curved with the hint of a smile, like she knew something he didn’t.
Hastily, he turned the page. Only a short passage was written on the back.
I must find her. I have dreamt of her every night for a month, in flashes. I do not know her, but I know she is my very soul. She is the only person I might love. For the White Lady born of True Love could be the only match for Red Jamie. I. Must. Find. Her.