Claire and her little ladies (a Modern Glasgow AU contribution)
Note: So, Miss Gotham is God’s gift to this fandom… And she gave us the greatest gift of Modern Glasgow. Being the great person and friend that she is, and after all my mad fangirling over it, she not only motivated me, but also helped me sort out everything I had scrambled, to put together this wee contribution for an idea I prompted. I am #1800blessed for this lady and the wee fools. Thank you for letting me in on your universe @gotham-ruaidh. Hope you all enjoy it.
The Frasers needed a day off from the daunting task of packing and labelling their belongings. That’s what Claire thought first thing that morning, opening her eyes to her husband’s red mane right beside her. They were preparing to move to Lallybroch and the summer was coming to an end.
The next thing was that she needed to get to the bathroom. The wee bannock was very excited in the early hours of the day, as had been its sisters and brother, but Claire would never got used to that queasy feeling, even in her fourth pregnancy. Aside from the physical discomfort, she didn’t really mind… If it happened, the baby was there, and moving, and everything was alright.
“Yes, we are happy today”, she whispered to her little one. “Let’s get everyone out of bed.”
Waking Jamie up with a kiss on the lips and another one on the cheek (to which he responded with a lopsided smile and a stray arse grab - his palm seemed to be drawn to it), Claire woke up the little Frasers. First the boys… Fergus was already awake, checking his phone. Willie responded with grunts at his mama’s request, and Fergus assured her he would take care of the rest. Faith was half awake already, as Claire opened the blinds to the girl’s room. There were unpleasant grunting sounds from the copper head buried beneath the covers. Wee Faith proceeded to come down from her top bunk bed, jumping on her sister and coercing her to wake up. The day would be filled.
It was Saturday, no school, but Claire had some exciting plans for the day. Mother-daughter plans, to be exact. Claire, Brianna and Faith kept little traditions: a tea date for 9 year old Faith, a field trip to a bookshop for 8 year old Bree… But today, the boys were off to help Uncle Murtagh and Aunt Suzette with their own packing. They were also going to move to Lallybroch. Murtagh would help Jenny and Ian (and Jamie) run the estate, but the truth was that they would move because neither the sweet grumpy old man nor his sweet French wife would want to stay far from their wee Fraser godchildren.
So, Claire took her little ladies to brunch.
Faith and Brianna were both quite tall for their age, not a surprise if you looked at their father, and were almost as tall as Claire at this point. She admired the wild curly copper head of Bree and the stray brown curls coming out off of Faith’s braid and her heart swelled with pride. To think that she once thought she would never be able to be a mother… She remembered the scare of Faith’s birth, the sleepless stressful nights when she was pregnant with Brianna, when everything from medical school exams to the worst birthing scenarios came to her in dreams, and only Jamie’s soothing words, promises and skilled touch could calm her down and ease her into sleep again.
But they had made it work. And along came William, and the blessing that was Fergus. Claire thought that yes, that was her life. She had never had sisters or brothers, but watching Jamie with Jenny and Ian (and her own relationship with Jenny), proved her the incredible joy of having siblings, the moments of deep tenderness, those of fiery fights and the bond that united them. Brianna and Faith were so much alike and so different at the same time. They shared a fierce nature and were always ready to protect each other, even when they wanted to rattle each other’s ears. They were thick as thieves.
As they sat in a cosy Glasgow coffee shop, ordered the brunch menu, and began munching on mini sandwiches, steamy porridge, buttery scones, eggs benedict, tea and orange juice, they talked about school and how excited every young Fraser was to start the year in a brand new school, and a special one to that - the same schoolhouse their Da had attended. Not to mention living closer to their cousins. In the midst of the conversation, the wee bannock decided it wanted a bit of the fun too, and Claire winced a bit.
“Mama, are ye alright?”
“Yes darling, just your little sister.. She wants to be a part of the conversation, of course.” *How very Beauchamp of her.*
“SISTER?” Brianna and Faith screamed, scaring the waitress passing behind them with a tray of pastries.
“Now, calm down… We are not sure, Da doesn’t want to know, like we didn’t with the both of you actually, and I agreed. But I have a feeling, and I haven’t been wrong yet.”
“Yes, we know how Da just wanted to hear about number three to see if it was going to be a boy… And it was. He convinced you to find out early, Mama. He may do the same again!” Faith rolled her eyes, but giggled.
Claire thought to herself that Jamie’s methods of convincing her to do certain things were not a suitable topic… at that specific moment… with her daughters.
“Mama, what would her name be, if it is a girl?” demanded Bree.
“Well, I haven’t thought about it yet… What would you like to name your little sister? Or brother?”
“Edward for a boy! Or Henry like your da… Since we already have a Brian in myself.”, Brianna added with a beam of pride in her eye and lifting her little chin in a very Fraser-like manner. She was very proud of her name.
“Meh, because everyone thought you’d be a boy.” Faith said mockingly, just meaning to tease her little sister, who responded by sticking her tongue out to her.
Faith simply rolled her eyes and continued. “Mama, I have auntie Jenny in my name, Bree has grannie Ellen, I think a good name for a girl would be Julia… That was your mama’s name, right?”
Claire felt the sting of tears and smiled at her eldest daughter. Of course she had thought about it before… As soon as she felt she was pregnant again, after the initial panic and Jamie’s comforting words.
*It’s a girl, and her name will be Julia.* These were Claire’s thoughts, as she lay with legs intertwined with her husband’s, as he held her and played with her hair. She had just told him about the pregnancy news, crying, and of course, Mr. Fraser almost cried himself. Basking in a warm Glasgow sun, without notice, Jamie just said, “I feel like I knew it before ye told me, Sassenach. And if it is a girl, and let’s be honest, we are very good at making them, her name ought to be Julia… What do you think, mo nighean donn?” Claire looked at him in awe and that was settled. Now, they just had to peacefully wait…
“Yes, I think Da will like it… We shall see, when we get to Lallybroch and this wee bannock is ready to come out of the oven, ok?”
Claire winked at the little girls. She knew they’d be great older sisters to another girl, and started wondering whose eyes would she have, which colour would her hair be… Started looking forward to seeing her husband holding another baby again, her favourite sight in the world. The pregnancy had scared her, and she knew now it would be the last one, but the connection of deep intimacy she already shared with this little baby overshadowed anything else. Everything would be perfect, even in the wee imperfections. She - and Jamie - would see to that.
As the meal came to an end and Mama listened to her little ladies chatting about the bookshop they were going to visit after (“one more Harry Potter book? But William ripped some pages out of Goblet of Fire!!”), and talking about who would take which room at Lallybroch, Claire asked for the check and took a little blue silk bag out of her purse.
“I have something for you two, and for myself. Close your eyes and give me your right arm.”
The girls obediently did so, squirming in curiosity. “Brianna, close your eyes”, scolded Claire as one deep blue eye was trying to peek. In each of the girls’ wrists, Claire placed beautiful silver bracelets, very simple, adorned with one pearl and one gem stone. Faith’s was purple, Brianna’s was red. As she told the girls to open their eyes, she placed another one in her own wrist, this one with a blue stone. In the bag stayed one with a green stone, waiting for its owner.
“Mama, it’s beautiful, thank you!”
“We all have, or will have…” added Claire caressing the little bump that was starting to get noticeable, “the same bracelet. Think of it as your lucky charm. It’s to remind you that you come from a family that loves you, that you each have your sisters that love you and will protect you… And you come from great women.”
Taking Faith’s wrist, she touched the pearl on the little girl’s bracelet and added, “The silver comes from me and da, my wedding ring is silver, right? The pearl is from grannie Ellen’s necklace, and each of your gems come from some of my mother’s jewels. From a pair of vintage earrings and a ring. Two of the few things I remember her wearing, clearly, as she gave me a goodnight kiss. Take good care of them and each other, no matter where you are, do you promise?”
The girls nodded and smiled proudly at their mother, caressing their bracelets, forever carrying the legacy of the extraordinary women who gave them life, and their parents’ love… That one was for the ages.
Dublin, London, London, Manchester, Glasgow, thank you for coming to the Slumberparty Tour! Can’t wait to come back soon! (Look at these beautiful people I pulled up onto the stage during the show! Get tickets for North American & Australian dates here: http://tyleroakleytour.com)
“Camminavo col mio cestino tra i reparti di un supermercato di Glasgow, con la maglia di Rumplestiltskin, il ciondolo del pugnale al collo e l'anello di Mr. Gold nella borsa, quando, arrivata alla fine del corridoio, giro l'angolo e… BOOM. Me lo trovo davanti. Robert Carlyle, con i due bambini e un carrello pieno. Rimango impietrita. "Oh my God” dico. Lui, occhiali da sole, gira la testa. “Robert? Sei… sei reale?” - “Beh, lo spero!” dice sorridendo e mi stringe la mano. Continuando a dire “Oh my God” gli chiedo una foto, accetta di buon grado, poi gli dico che sono italiana e lui mi dice “Ciao bella!”. Mi raccoglie la foderina dell'ombrello, caduta a terra. Lo ringrazio. Gli dico che lui per me è praticamente un Dio e lui scuote la testa, sorridendo. Mi stringe di nuovo le mani, dicendomi che è un piacere. Gli chiedo se possiamo fare la foto anche col cellulare e lui accetta di nuovo di buon grado. Dico che non posso fare io il selfie e lui nota le mie mani che tremano all'inverosimile, così dice lo può fare il bambino. Ci fa due o tre foto (identiche, perché non ne avevo idea), poi gli dico di guardare il pugnale e la maglietta. Lui abbassa lo sguardo sul mio petto e apre la bocca. Prende in mano il pugnale, lo guarda, ride… Poi vuole vedere la maglia: gliela stendo, gli dico che c'è scritto “Evil isn’t born, dearies” e lui è sconvolto. In senso positivo. Mi chiede dove ho trovato tutta quella roba e mi dice qualcosa del tipo “Cosa ti ha fatto entrare in questo negozio, oggi?” io allargo le braccia, come a dirgli “Non so cosa dirti!” Gli dico che ho anche l'anello, lo vuole vedere. Lo tiro fuori e glielo porgo. Lui ride. Se lo prova. Non gli sta. A me sta grande, a lui piccolo. Me lo rende. Mi prende la mano, mi ringrazia per tutto quel sostegno. Non smette di sorridere. Poi arriva il colpo di grazia. Una cosa che non mi sarei mai aspettata. Una cosa che avrei voluto fare io, ma ero troppo impietrita e tremante, la mente svuotata, per farlo. No problem, lo ha fatto lui… come se fosse commosso - non vedevo i suoi occhi, ma l'impressione era quella. È stato un attimo. Si avvicina, allunga le braccia mi prende, mi bacia su una guancia e mi abbraccia forte. Io lo stringo. Potevo morire tra le sue braccia in quel momento. Si stacca di nuovo, mi guarda e mi ringrazia ancora e ancora per il supporto. Mi dice che è stato davvero un grande piacere incontrarmi. Mi ringrazia ancora. Cioè, capite? Lui ringrazia me? Lui abbraccia me? C'è qualcosa che non torna in tutto questo. Io devo ringraziarlo per tutta la sua carriera, per essere l'attore che è, per essere l'uomo che è… per essere stato fantastico con me… Alla fine ho avuto la forza di ringraziarlo per tutto il suo lavoro. Anyway, ci salutiamo e ognuno prosegue il suo shopping. È stato incredibile. Non poteva andare meglio di così. Thank you, Robert. Really, thank you. You’re amazing. Ps: nella foto sono venuta malissimo, come al solito, dunque non fate caso a me.“
I love Modern Glasgow, thank you for it! Imagine the Frasers having an
eventful night with hungry babies, sleepless children, small emergencies
Murtagh jolted awake as his mobile phone shrieked on his bedside. Fumbling in the half-light of dawn - and knocking over his book (“Scotland: A Very Peculiar History”) in the process - he finally grabbed his phone and flipped it open.
“Do ye mind coming over to the flat today?” Jamie’s hoarse voice shouted over what sounded like two screaming bairns in the background.
“No - that’s fine. Is everything all right?”
“Just that Bree is teething and William has colic and Faith decided to stay up all night, too. And today is Claire’s early day, for that surgery rotation -”
Murtagh rubbed his hand over his face, tugging at his beard. Jamie and Claire sure had their hands full with three bairns under age four - he’d had his doubts, but they had more than risen to the challenge. They loved those lassies and the lad more than life itself - and the bairns were well-behaved, for the most part.
But then again there were times when all three Fraser adults just wanted to throttle the wee bastards.
“Dinna fash yerself, laddie. I’ll get dressed and head over. Just have the coffee ready, aye?”
“Claire just made our third pot of coffee since midnight. We’ll be ready.”
“Good. I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
And he was - knocking on the battered door, a bag full of scones in his other hand. Jamie pulled open the door - hair matted to his forehead, an alert wee William strapped in to his carrier on Jamie’s chest, a sleepy Faith on Jamie’s hip.
“Thank ye,” his godson rasped. “It’s never been this bad.”
“These things happen - I remember a few times when you and Jenny gave yer parents quite the hard time.” He stepped into the apartment, hung up his ratty coat, and followed Jamie into the kitchen. “Ye probably dinna remember, but those loud noises carry far in that old house.”
Claire sat at the kitchen table, eyes blank as she sipped from the huge coffee mug he’d given her for Christmas - it read “Trust me - I’m a doctor!” with a small Dallek.
She looked up at him, blinking slowly. “You’re a lifesaver. I just got Bree down - ”
Murtagh set the bag down on the table and extended his arms to Faith, who willingly came to his side for a snuggle.
“Ye get yerself ready, then - I’ll mind these three. Ye need a bit of time to yerself.”
Claire nodded slowly and rose, slipping past the Fraser men toward the master bedroom - but not before leaving kisses on William and Faith’s foreheads, Jamie’s mouth, and Murtagh’s cheek.
Jamie and Murtagh stood for a long, quiet moment in the kitchen, watching the two bairns finally fall asleep.
“Times like this I’m glad that Claire talked me out of more bairns,” Jamie said quietly. “Fergus is on his way - but he’s older. At least he won’t keep us up all night.”
“That’s what *you* think, laddie.” Murtagh shifted Faith closer to his side and sat on the edge of the table, reaching for a scone with his free hand and chewing it thoughtfully. “And the sleepless nights never end - if it’s no’ the colic, or the teething, it’s waiting up for them when they go out with other lads and lassies.”
Jamie caressed William’s wee legs over his tartan onesie, considering. “Oh God. I canna even *think* about that right now.”
Murtagh gently pushed Jamie to an empty chair. “Then sit, and eat, and give me the wee lad so ye can take yer rest. Rupert willna mind if ye are a few hours late, aye?”
Jamie sank to his seat and held his head in his hands. “Since when did ye get so wise, then?”
Murtagh pulled out another scone and placed it in front of Jamie on the table. “Since I was entrusted the care of ye, and yer passel of bairns. Now - time for breakfast, aye?”