May we have some more Brian and Ellen AU? Love the fics and love how you guys take your free time to write fics for us!!! You guys truly are amazing!!
anonymous asked: Hi, is it possible to get another continuation of the Brian and Ellen Fraser AU please?
Jamie shook awake as a twig snapped at the mouth of the cave.
Curling cold fingers around his dirk, Jamie eased closer to the hidden opening, squinting in the faint rays of pre-dawn. Closer – and closer –
And then a blur of red-brown feathers.
He sighed, and let the dirk dully clatter to the dirt floor. Just another curious grouse, looking for a safe place to lay her eggs, no doubt.
Two weeks he’d been back in the cave, after spending the winter in the cramped quarters of the priest hole. One week without word from the main house – not since Fergus had scrabbled up the hill, bearing a few loaves of Mrs. Crook’s coarse bread and two short notes from his family.
One from his mother: “All is well. Be safe.”
And one from his wife: “We miss you and love you. Be safe.”
Close on four years now he’d been living as a fugitive on his own lands – in the priest hole, in the cave, in the abandoned cottage half a day’s ride out. Not living with his wife and children, as a true man should. Not contributing to the running of the estate as much as he would like – and him the heir!
He shook his head, hearing Claire’s exasperated voice echo in his mind. “You do *plenty* for us – bring meat and birds when we need them, give Ian and Brian advice when it’s required. And love us.”
The barest of rustles from the bushes just a few yards from the mouth of the cave.
Christ – it sounded too big to be another grouse. And bigger than a deer –
Not Fergus. Not Da.
Something was wrong.
Jamie fumbled on the floor of the cave for his dun bonnet, clapped it on his head, and wriggled, blinking, into the dawn.
His godfather huffed a bit – looking the worse for wear.
“What is it?”
The dour man pursed his lips, bushy eyebrows creased into a frown. “Ye must come to the house. Now.”
Jamie’s heart leapt to his throat. Fear iced through his heart.
“Why? Is everything all right?”
Murtagh extended an arm to gently nudge Jamie down the hill toward the main house. “No. Yer Da – he’s had an apoplexy. Claire’s tending to him, but – ”
If there had been more, Jamie didn’t bother to hear it, for he was already half-way down the hill, exhaustion forgotten in the haze of fear.
*Christ, Da – ye canna die now. I canna run Lallybroch now – not when I’m living like an animal. Not when Ian has just been released from prison again. Not when the English are doing their damndest to take everything away from us.*
The main door was suddenly in front of him – and Jamie realized he’d been running.
*Not when I still have so much to learn…*
He left the door open for Murtagh, and swiftly yet quietly climbed the stairs two at a time to his parents’ bedroom.
Just as he turned the corner on the landing, the door opened and Ellen slipped out, eyes creased with exhaustion.
“Mam,” he croaked, yanking off his bonnet and carelessly dropping it to the floor.
Startled, her eyes lit up at the sight of her eldest surviving son. Then she opened her arms, and he fell into them just as he had when he was a wee bairn.
“It’s all right, *mo mhac*,” she soothed. “Robert noticed something amiss at supper last night, and he went straight up to tell Claire. She was putting the wee ones to bed and came straight down. Started giving him a looking-over and then he just slumped on the chaise.”
She swallowed, still so full of feeling. Jamie just held her tighter.
“Robert and Fergus and Murtagh got him up here – and Claire hasna left his side. She says the worst is over, and he’s awake now.”
Jamie inhaled – and felt a sob wrack through his frame. Ellen shushed him.
“It’s no’ his time yet. Dinna fash.”
Murtagh finally appeared at the top of the stairs – and locked eyes with Ellen over the shoulders of the man they loved almost more than anything in the world.
As always, Murtagh understood what needed to be done. He quietly stepped forward to lay a gentle hand on Jamie’s back. Jamie straightened, kissed his mother’s forehead, and softly opened the door to the Laird’s room.
Sunlight streamed into the window, falling on Brian’s legs as he shifted uneasily beneath the coverlet, sitting against the headboard he’d carved for Ellen as a wedding present. On the far side of the bed, Claire bent to dip a cloth in a bowl of water before laying it on Brian’s forehead. On the near side of the bed, Jenny and his younger brother Rab alternately held Brian’s hand and sorted through a pile of dirty linens.
They all looked up – and beamed to see Jamie.
Relief from Jenny and Rab. Love from Brian. And pride – and an outpouring of silent support – from Claire.
“Da,” he finally said, a bit deflated.
Brian raised a hand in greeting, face split in a wide smile.
“He canna speak just yet,” Jenny said quietly. “Claire said it would only be temporary.”
Jenny and Rab stood, allowing Jamie to ease onto the bed beside his father and rest a gentle hand on his shoulder.
“Fortunately it only seems to have been a minor stroke – just a bit of facial drooping, and he’s lost a bit of feeling on his right side,” Claire gently explained, running her fingers along the inside of Brian’s wrist to take his pulse. “But all that, and his loss of speech, are temporary. He should be back to his normal self in a few days – that is, as long as he listens to his doctor’s advice.”
Brian quirked a large, dark eyebrow at his daughter-in-law, but then turned back to his older son, nodding.
“I’ll stay in the house until he’s better.” Jamie looked to his brother and sister, daring them to disagree. “I canna be away when this is going on.”
“There was a patrol here yesterday. In the house,” Rab’s blue gaze pierced into his brother. “They were looking for ye. Thank God Da was able to dream up a good explanation as to why there’s a five-month-old bairn in the house when Jenny is clearly ready to deliver at any time.”
Jenny reflexively moved a hand to the swell of her belly – her fifth child.
“William,” Jamie breathed. “Christ, Rab – they didna touch him, now?”
“Of course not,” Claire huffed from across the room. “Fortunately *that* Fraser had the sense to not resemble his father too much. Easy to explain him away as an orphan that we took in.”
“What Rabbie is trying to say,” Jenny interjected, “is that it isna safe for ye here, Jamie.”
The door opened, and Ellen quietly slipped into the room, holding the door open for Murtagh, who carried a tray piled high with bannocks and fresh milk.
“It isna safe for me *anywhere*, Jenny.” Jamie closed his eyes, defeated. “I am useless to all of ye. I canna protect any of ye.”
“Get yer thick red heid out of yer arse,” Ellen admonished, diligently mashing a bannock in a plate of milk for Brian’s breakfast. “Ye’re no’ going anywhere. We’ve been talking about it – we want to air out the attic and build a room for ye up there. And then expand the priest hole, so ye can hide down there if need be.”
“That way ye can be close to all of us – and remain out of sight,” Jenny explained. “There are too many things going on – we canna risk ye being away from us anymore.
“But – ”
“It’s already settled lad,” Murtagh interrupted. “Dinna even *dream* of arguing wi’ us.”
The eyes of five Frasers bore into him – challenging him to disagree.
So he leaned to kiss his father’s rough cheek, rose, walked around the bed, and took his wife into his arms.
“If it means I get to be wi’ all of ye all of the time – and spend the day with my bairns – and sleep beside my wife every night – how can I refuse?”
And he bent to kiss Claire, heart suddenly lighter than
it had been for a long, long time.