“I wanted ye from the first I saw ye—but I loved ye when you wept in my arms and let me comfort you, that first time at Leoch.”
I undressed slowly, standing by the bed, looking down at him. He had turned onto his side and curled himself up against the cold. His lashes lay long and curving against his cheek; they were a deep auburn, nearly black at the tips, but a pale blond near the roots. It gave him an oddly innocent air, despite the long, straight nose and the firm lines of mouth and chin.
Clad in my chemise, I slid into bed behind him, snuggling against the wide, warm back in its woolen nightshirt. He stirred a little, coughing, and I put a hand on the curve of his hip to soothe him. He shifted, curling further and thrusting himself back against me with a small exhalation of awareness. I put my arm around his waist, my hand brushing the soft mass of his testicles. I could rouse him, I knew, sleepy as he was; it took very little to bring him standing, no more than a few firm strokes of my fingers.
I didn’t want to disturb his rest, though, and contented myself with gently patting his belly. He reached back a large hand and clumsily patted my thigh in return.
“I love you,“ he muttered, half-awake.
“I know,” I said, and fell asleep at once, holding him.”
“I didna think I should ever laugh again in a woman’s bed, Sassenach,” he said. “Or even come to a woman, save as a brute, blind with need.” A note of bitterness came into his voice.
I lifted his hand, and kissed the small scar on the back of it.
“I can’t see you as a brute,” I said. I meant it lightly, but his face softened as he looked at me, and he answered seriously.
“I know that, Sassenach. And it is that ye canna see me so that gives me hope. For I am—and know it—and yet perhaps…” He trailed off, watching me intently.
“You have that—the strength. Ye have it, and your soul as well. So perhaps my own may be saved.”
“It’s a wonderful gift. However did you find it?”
He smiled then, in return. The sun blazed low, a brilliant orange ball glimpsed briefly through dark treetops.
“I’d seen the box when I went to the goldsmith’s shop—it was the goldsmith’s wife who’d kept it. Then I went back yesterday, meaning to buy ye a bit of jewelry—maybe a brooch—and whilst the goodwife was showing me the gauds, we happened to speak of this and that, and she told me of the Doctor, and—” He shrugged.
“Why did you want to buy me jewelry?” I looked at him, puzzled. The sale of the ruby had left us with a bit of money, but extravagance was not at all like him, and under the circumstances—
“Oh! To make up for sending all that money to Laoghaire? I didn’t mind; I said I didn’t.”
He had—with some reluctance—arranged to send the bulk of the proceeds from the sale of the stone to Scotland, in payment of a promise made to Laoghaire MacKenzie—damn her eyes—Fraser, whom he had married at his sister’s persuasion while under the rather logical impression that if I was not dead, I was at least not coming back. My apparent resurrection from the dead had caused any amount of complications, Laoghaire not least among them.
“Aye, ye said so,” he said, openly cynical.
“I meant it—more or less,” I said, and laughed. “You couldn’t very well let the beastly woman starve to death, appealing as the idea is.”
He smiled, faintly.
“No. I shouldna like to have that on my conscience; there’s enough without. But that’s not why I wished to buy ye a present.”
“Why, then?” The box was heavy; a gracious, substantial, satisfying weight across my legs, its wood a delight under my hands. He turned his head to look full at me, then, his hair fire-struck with the setting sun, face dark in silhouette.
“Twenty-four years ago today, I married ye, Sassenach,” he said softly. “I hope ye willna have cause yet to regret it.”
Yet what he felt now was not lust—not quite. Nor was it even the need of her, the wanting of soul’s company. He wished to cover her with his body, possess her—for if he could do that, he could pretend to himself that she was safe. Covering her so, joined in one body, he might protect her. Or so he felt, even knowing how senseless the feeling was.
He had stiffened, his body tensing involuntarily with his thoughts. Claire stirred, and reached back with one hand. She laid it on his leg, let it lie for a moment, then reached gently farther up, in drowsy question.
He bent his head, put his lips behind her ear. Said what he was thinking, without thought.
“Nothing will harm ye while there is breath in my body, a nighean donn. Nothing.”
“I know,” she said. Her limbs went slowly slack, her breathing eased, and the soft round of her belly swelled under his palm as she melted into sleep
“It’s a great comfort,” he said at last, “to see the sun come up and go down. When I dwelt in the cave, when I was in prison, it gave me hope, to see the light come and go, and know that the world went about its business.”
He was looking out the window, toward the blue distance where the sky darkened toward infinity. His throat moved a little as he swallowed.
“It gives me the same feeling, Sassenach,” he said, “to hear ye rustling about in your surgery, rattling things and swearin’ to yourself.” He turned his head, then, to look at me, and his eyes held the depths of the coming night.
“If ye were no longer there—or somewhere—” he said very softly, “then the sun would no longer come up or go down.”
He turned and reached up his hands, and she leaned to him, tried to climb down, but lost her footing and half-fell, landing in his arms in a fluster of clothes and loose hair. He laughed and turned her round to look, but kept his arms around her.
He was loath to surrender the warmth of her and held her like a shield against cold memory.
She was still, leaning back against him, only her head moving as she looked from one end of the cave to the other. It was barely eight feet long, but the far end was lost in shadow. She lifted her chin, seeing the soft black stains that coated the rock to one side by the entrance.
“That’s where my fire was—when I dared have one.” His voice sounded strange, small and muffled, and he cleared his throat.
“Where was your bed?”
“Just there by your left foot.”
“Did you sleep with your head at this end?” She tapped her foot on the graveled dirt of the floor.
“Aye. I could see the stars, if the night was clear. I turned the other way if it rained.” She heard the smile in smile in his voice and put her hand along his thigh, squeezing.
“I hoped that,” she said, her own voice a little choked. “When we learned about the Dunbonnet, and the cave… I thought about you, alone here—and I hoped you could see the stars at night.”
“I could,” he whispered, and bent his head to put his lips to her hair. The shawl she’d pulled over her head had slipped off, and her hair smelled of lemon balm and what she said was catmint.
She made a small hmp noise in her throat and folded her own arms over his, warming him through his shirt.
“I feel as though I’ve seen it before,” she said, sounding a little surprised. “Though I suppose one cave probably looks a good deal like any other cave, unless you have stalactites hanging from the ceiling or mammoths painted on the walls.”
“I’ve never had a talent for decoration,” he said, and she hmp’ed again, amused. “As for being here … ye’ve been here many nights wi’ me, Sassenach. You and the wee lass, both.”
“Are ye no coming to bed, Sassenach?” Jamie was already lying down, having found a remote corner behind the bar counter and spread out our cloaks.
“I’ve broken a fingernail trying to get this bloody thing loose, and I can’t bloody reach it with my teeth!” I said, on the verge of breaking into tears of frustration. I was swaying with weariness, but couldn’t bring myself to sleep in the clammy confines of my stays.
Jamie reached up an arm out of the darkness, beckoning.
“Come lie down wi’ me, Sassenach,” he whispered. “I’ll do it.”
The simple relief of lying down, after twelve hours in the saddle, was so exquisite that I nearly changed my mind about sleeping in my stays, but he’d meant it. He squirmed down and bent his head to nuzzle at my laces, an arm round my back to steady me.”
“Dinna fash,” he murmured into my midsection, voice somewhat muffled. “If I canna nibble it loose, I’ll prise it wi’ my dirk.”
He looked up with an inquiring noise, as I’d uttered a strangled laugh at the prospect.
“Just trying to decide whether being accidentally disemboweled would be worse than sleeping in my stays,” I whispered, cupping his head. It was warm, the soft hair at his nape damp to the touch.
“My aim’s no that bad, Sassenach,” he said, pausing in his labors for an instant. “I’d only risk stabbin’ ye in the heart.”
As it was, he accomplished his goal without recourse to weapons, gently jerking the knot loose with his teeth until he could finish the job with his fingers, opening the heavy seamed canvas stays like a clamshell to expose the whiteness of my shift.
I sighed like a grateful mollusk opening at high tide, plucking the fabric out of the creases the stays had made in my flesh. Jamie pushed away the discarded stays but remained where he was, his face near my breasts, rubbing his hands gently over my sides.
I sighed again at his touch; he’d done it by habit, but it was a habit I’d missed for the last four months, and a touch I’d thought never to feel again.
“Ye’re too thin, Sassenach,” he whispered. “I can feel every rib. I’ll find ye food tomorrow.”
I had been too much preoccupied in the last few days to think about food, and was much too tired at the moment to be hungry, but made an agreeable sound in response and stroked his hair, tracing the curve of his skull.
“I love you, a nighean,” he said, very softly, his breath warm on my skin.
“I love you,” I answered just as softly, taking the ribbon from his hair and loosening his plait between my fingers. I pressed his head closer to me, not in invitation, but out of the sudden urgent need to keep him close to me, to protect him.
He kissed my breast and turned his head, laying it in the hollow of my shoulder. He took one deep breath, one more, and then was asleep, the relaxing weight of his body against me both protection and trust.
“I love you,” I said, almost soundless, my arms wrapped tight about him. “Oh, dear God, I love you.”
Outlander Books “Sweetest Moments” As Requested by Anonymous
“And if he should die upon drinking your medicine? Christ, Claire! They would kill ye on the spot!”
I folded my hands beneath my arms, trying to warm them.
“D-does that matter?” I asked, desperately trying to steady my voice. The truth was that it did. Just at the moment, my own life weighed a good deal more in the balance than did the hundreds I might save. I clenched my fists, shaking with terror, a mouse in the jaws of the trap.
Jamie was at my side in an instant. My legs didn’t work very well; he half-carried me to the broken settle and sat down with me, his arms wrapped tight around me.
“You’ve the courage of a lion, mo duinne,” he murmured in my ear. “Of a bear, a wolf! But you know I willna let ye do it.”
The shivering eased slightly, though I still felt cold, and sick with the horror of what I was saying. ― Chapter 46: Timor Mortis Conturbat Me, Dragonfly in Amber.
It’s here it’s here it’s here!! Thanks for not giving up on us! We’ve been so busy and burnt out and exhausted, it took us a lot longer to get this done than we’d expected. But. HERE IT IS!!!! As always, @outlandishchridhe is AMAZING and she’s so much fun to work with. Just so y’all know, the majority of this chapter was written by her. So enjoy the chapter, cause it’s a long one! I have family up visiting and July 4th is a holiday here in the US, so I can’t promise we’ll have another chapter next week, but we’ll work on something.
I received another wonderful prompt from romancoin the other day! She seriously has the best ideas. If y’all need prompts, ask her. But, anyway, she sent me this completely developed story and hinted she might try her hand at writing fanfic someday… so I strayed a bit from her premise in hopes that I’d annoy her enough to make her want to write it her own way. Ha! I love you romancoin, don’t hate me.
Here’s the premise that she pitched to me: Lonely Modern-Day-Claire (an engineer, to stir things up a bit) goes to Craig na Dunn not knowing it’s hidden powers. Something vanishes thru the cleft in the stone, prompting her to send other things thru. Jamie finds them and sends them back. Love letters ensue and one travels thru the stones to the other.
Day One - July 10th, 2016; Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.
Uncle Lamb and I had relocated to Oxford from Cairo about five years ago. He had taken a teaching position there, while I attempted to graduate early from upper school and begin taking university courses of my own in London. This set me at a complete disadvantage in the friends department, yet managed to earn me a certain measure of unwanted attention in the biochemical engineering department.
I took this summer off from internships, classes, and labs and instead followed my uncle to the Scottish Highlands. It was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, to be back in the field with him.
This location wasn’t really within Uncle Lamb’s usual scope of historical exploration, he was an expert on the intermediate Egyptian dynasties with several books published on the more specific topic of New Kingdom hieroglyphics, but he had lost a bet with a favorite professor friend of his and, so, here we were.
Tipping my head back, I peered up the steep slope of the hill. Hiking was never far out of the realm of possibility with my uncle and I thanked my lucky stars I had worn my boots today. “It’s at the top?” I asked, rather unnecessarily.
Of course, it was at the top. It was always at the top. Except when it was at the very bottom, but, even then, you had to climb back to the top.
“Yep!” Dr Joe Abernathy, an American who specialized Scottish folklore, replied eagerly.
I trailed behind Uncle Lamb and Dr Joe as we hiked the path up to the top of Craigh na Dunn, listening absently to the two of them discuss the myths surrounding the site. They were two peas in a pod, although Dr Joe was significantly younger than my uncle, and were both in a titter about recently found artifacts or some such.
“And you say they just appear at the base?” My uncle asked skeptically.
Dr Joe nodded, “Dead as door nails.”
The thought of poor, dead birds randomly materializing on the ground in the middle of a henge made me shudder.
What on earth had I agreed to?
Day Three - July 13th, 2016.
I sat on the ground between two of the outer stones and chewed on the end of my pencil as I tried to get the cleft in the center stone right. It was quickly frustrating me, being almost geometrically proportional but off just enough to make it irritatingly irregular.
Tearing the page out of my sketchbook, I crumpled it up into a tight ball and threw it at the offending rock. It arched perfectly, looking like it was going to pass right thru the divide. I silently congratulated myself as I waited to see if it would land my uncle, who was working on the other side.
A startled shriek escaped my lips as the paper vanished into thin air.
“Are you alright, Claire?” Uncle Lamb stuck his head around the side of the stone.
Pointing above his head, I gaped, “Where the hell did it go?”
“Where did what go?” Dr Joe asked, coming towards me.
“My paper,” I stood as I answered. “I threw it at the stone and it disappeared.”
Dr Joe laughed and patted me on the head patronizingly, “Sure you did, kid.”
“I’m eighteen and I know what I saw!” I informed him.
Day Four - July 14th, 2016.
One of my favorite things to do when I was in the field with Uncle Lamb was to go for morning hikes. We were both early risers, but, as he need an entire pot of coffee before he was ready to do anything productive, I used it as my own private, quiet time.
I got to the top of the hill just as the sun was beginning to hit the standing stones. The sunrise painted the already eerie monoliths in an almost otherworldly light and I took out my phone to quickly capture the moment. Something white caught my eye in the corner of the image, prompting me to move closer to the center stone to investigate.
It was my paper.
Mouth open in astonishment, I scooped it up. It was slightly damp from the dew, but very obviously the paper I had thrown the afternoon before. It certainly hadn’t been there before we left, I had scoured the site looking for it to no avail.
I uncrumpled it and dropped the sheet of paper like it was a hot coal.
Someone had finished my sketch, signing their work with five neat letters in the bottom left hand corner.
or a twitter campaign or something to get EW to bring back KDS (or literally ANYONE who is capable of giving us decent balanced, fun OL coverage without simpering over Sam like a love sick school girl?
I’m sure we’re all fans of Sam’s abs, they are very fine and he worked damn hard on them, but also there is a little bit more to Outlander than Sam’s musculature and I for one would like to see some of it.
If we’re talking about Sam, I want to talk about his craft, his skill, his talent. I want to talk about how he inhabits Jamie so completely, the two don’t even look like the same person. I want to talk about his methods, how he finds the emotion and conveys it. I don’t need to talk about Sam’s gym habits. I already know all about them and whilst I appreciate their fruits, I do not need them to dominate my OL coverage.
And then I want to talk about Caitriona. You know? Our female lead? The person who plays the character who’s story this is and does so incredibly well. I want to know about her, about her experiences, about her craft, about her thoughts on the story and the character she plays so beautifully.
If you want to serve me up some SFW (ish) smut in photo form whilst you’re at it, fine, I won’t be mad at it, but I don’t want a ‘hunky Sam’ shoot. I want Jamie Fraser, I WANT CLAIRE FRASER, I’d like both together.
And I don’t want some simpering fan girl ruining the little coverage we get. Skewng it towards her own little celeb Sam crush. If Lynette Rice is not capable of doing a thorough and professional job covering OL (and nothing I’ve seen from her to date suggests she can), someone else should be doing it.
Jamie crept down the corridor. Mrs. Fitz mentioned that she put Claire in the empty room on the second landing. After climbing the stairs, he realized he wasn’t sure which room was the empty one…
Zagging through the hall, he began tapping on doors. After a constant stream of “Hmmm?”s and “Who’s there?”s, Jamie thought perhaps he had misheard Mrs. Fitz.
But he hadn’t. He knew she was close by. He could feel it.
Feel it? What does that mean, Fraser?
A beat. A pulse that grew stronger as he grew nearer. But perhaps it was just his own blood rushing in his ears…
When he reached the sixth door, he poised his hand to knock. The quick raps echoed in the stone hall. But that was the only answer.
He tapped again; perhaps the inhabitants didn’t hear him. Still no answer. Was this her room?
Without thought, he pushed the door open. Surprisingly, it wasn’t locked. Jamie peeked from around the door, the room seemingly empty. He would have left, had he not seen the unkempt bed heave.
He saw her then. Turned away from him, her body was lumped under a quilt, her dark hair twisted on the pillows. He stepped in the room.
Relief washed over him. Here she was, safe and resting in her bed. There was no need to worry. But he couldn’t find it in himself to leave.
He watched her, the small rise and fall of the quilt a comfort. One pale shoulder twitched, exposing itself. Bare. It made him wonder if she was completely bare under her coverings…
Wait. He shouldn’t be here. Staring at a sleeping woman was… inappropriate to say the least. He turned to leave, shame staining his face.
A weight fell on him, pitching him onto the floor with a shaking thud. Claire crouched above him, recognition lighting her face. She straightened up, brushing off her shift.
“Jamie!” She held out a hand to help him stand. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t know it was you…” Her voice rang clear; the bruises on her throat had faded.
“Nay, lass. I shouldna be skulking about yer room.” He grabbed her proffered to steady himself as he rose. She was warm. Heat emanated in pinpricks, like sparks escaping a fire. An odd sensation, but not unpleasant.
“Is everything alright? I mean, did you need something?” Jamie was distracted by her voice, heard properly for the first time. Low and smooth, like a fine whiskey. “Jamie?”
“Hmm? Um… No. I… I…” He cleared his throat, hoping to clear his thoughts in the process. “I just… wanted to make sure ye were… okay. I havena seen ye in a couple days, ken? I was… worried, honestly.”
“Oh! Well, thank you. That’s very kind. I’ve been quite tired, but… I’m alright.” She held out her arms in demonstration, quickly realizing she was just in her sleep wear.
Jamie tried not to notice.
Quick as a snake strike, she had the quilt off the bed and draped around her. But the sight of Claire in her shift was already burned into his mind. Of course, he had seen her in such undress before when he met her, but this was different. Now clean and mending, standing next to a bed… He was sure he would dream about that.
“Wait.” Jamie’s heart fluttered. She wanted him to stay. “Thank you. Really. No one else has checked on me. Well, besides Mrs. Fitz. She’s about as close to an angel as a human can be.”
“Well, it’s truly no trouble. I glad yer beginning to feel better.”
“I’ll make it up to you sometime.”
“Ye dinna need to…”
She shrugged. “I know that.”
Jamie began walking Losgann as soon as he arrived at the stables. The only pregnant mare at Leoch, Jamie liked to make sure she was well taken care of. He had grown fond of the cinnamon-colored female, and he knew she would foal a horse as strong and lovely as she.
“Oi, Jamie!” Old Alec yelled to him from across the stable, causing him and Losgann to jump simultaneously. “Who’s that?”
Jamie squinted in the diffused sun. A feminine figure emerged from the trees, and he instantly recognized that curly chestnut hair.
“Mistress Beauchamp!” He exclaimed, with a small wave. She waved back.
“Hello!” She approached the gate carefully, eyes on Losgann. “Hello, sweet girl.”
“What are ye doing out here?” He looked over her quickly, her sickly yellow bruises brighter in the sunlight. Though, he supposed yellow was better than deep purple. They were healing, at least.
“Well, I told you I would make it up to you, so…” She shook the basket hooked on her arm. “I brought you a bit of lunch.”
“Oh, aye? That was kind of ye. Would ye care to join me? I just need to put Losgann back in her–”
“Thank you, Jamie. But I can’t. Now that I’m out of bed, I must meet with the Laird…”
“Ahhh.” Jamie nodded in understanding. “The great Colum Mackenzie.”
“Your uncle, I hear.”
He turned sharply. “Who told ye that?”
“Oh, a little bird told me…” She blinked owlishly at him, teasing.
“Aye, and I’d wager that little bird’s name is Glenna Fitzgibbons.”
She grinned. “Perhaps.”
He couldn’t help but smile back. “Ah, well. ‘Tis no secret.”
“To be honest, I’m a but nervous…”
“Ye dinna need to be. Colum is a strict man, but he means well. His brother, Dougal, on the other hand…”
“Good to know. Thank you.”
“No trouble.” He didn’t want her to leave, but they both had their duties. “I suppose I’ll see ye…”
“At dinner.” He eyes were piercing, compelling. He couldn’t say no to her, even if he wanted to. Which he did not.
“Aye. Dinner. Sounds lovely. I’ll save ye a seat.”
“Wonderful. Goodbye Jamie!”
He watched her turn and walk away, her fingers trailing through tall grass about her waist.
Okay, Shifted prompt....what if Claire had to do something totally 20th Century to save Bree, and the rest of the Fraser's are like, woahhhhhh. Thanks for being the best writer on the block.
For the next few weeks I’ll be writing one-shots in the Shifted
universe, filling in the blanks that we don’t see in the main story,
before we resume the main action with Part 7 - The Visitor.
If there is a particular scene you’d like to see, send me an ask and I’ll see what I can do!
In Shifted, the premise is simple - what if Claire had gotten pregnant with
Brianna a month or two earlier in the story, and she and Jamie had
re-evaluated their priorities and decided that the cause was lost, and
they were able to slip away from the army and quietly return to
Jenny looked up from her knitting – a new scarf for
Murtagh, to replace the one he’d mysteriously shredded during the last harvest.
“His throat, ye mean? It’s no’ gotten any better in the
Claire nodded. “Yes – it’s still so swollen, and none of
my treatments are working.”
“Do ye ken why? It isna anything he’s eating – he grew
out of that when he was a wee lad.” Jenny leaned over to fish a fresh skein
from her basket, whisking away the cat with the back of her hand. Adso fluffed
himself menacingly before slinking to the hearth and curling up in a sulky,
Claire set down the herbal she’d been consulting – one of
the very old books Mother Hildegarde had recently unearthed and sent to her
from Paris. She was doing well, Mother Hildegarde – or as well as Claire could
tell from the spidery writing. They hadn’t seen each other in more than fifteen
years, but remained in regular contact. Mother Hildegarde rejoiced at any news
of Brianna and William Fraser – said novenas in their honor – wished fervently
to meet them one day.
“I believe it’s his tonsils. They’re at the back of the
throat – his throat has been sore, yes?”
“Aye. But ye must have something ye can give him to heal
it – ye canna cut the tonsils out to just remove the pain.”
“I can do just that.”
“What?” Ian piped up from the corner of the sitting room,
placing a finger mid-page on his ledger. “What do ye mean, cut them out of him?”
Claire spread her hands wide across her lap. “I know of a
way to do it, safely. It will be bloody, but quick – and he won’t feel any
“But how is that possible?” Jenny raised a skeptical
eyebrow, first to her sister-in-law, then to her brother – silent beside his
wife on the chaise across the sitting room.
“I can put him into a deep, temporary sleep. I’d need to
make some ether – ”
“Ether? Ye mean the substance Aristotle says the world is
Claire playfully shoved her husband. “No, idiot – it’s
almost like a sleeping potion. Just as effective as laudanum, but with none of
the side effects.”
“Aye – that stuff tastes foul,” he agreed. “And it gives
you the nightmare.”
Silently Claire’s hand shifted to Jamie’s – covering the
fingers she had painstakingly healed in the aftermath of Wentworth – and at the
abbey, when Jamie had spent a fair amount of time in a laudanum haze.
No – now was not the time.
“But I dinna understand, Claire,” Ian repeated patiently.
“How can ye put him to sleep so quickly? And will he no’ wake up?”
“I can, and he won’t,” she promised.
Ian turned to his wife. “Will ye let Claire give it a
try, J? Nothing else is working for him – none of her medicines have worked.
And it’s eating away his strength – no lad should go through that.”
Jenny pursed her lips, gazing into the fire.
“It’s no’ that I dinna trust ye, Claire – only…weel. He’s
my firstborn, aye?”
Jamie rose, crossed the room, and knelt before his
sister, resting a gentle hand on her knee.
“Ye ken that Claire mended this hand for me, wi’ no
“Yes, but – ”
“If there’s anyone who can do it, and do it skillfully –
it’s her. Ye ken that fine.”
She sighed and nodded.
“I’ll take good care of him, Jenny – you can be there.
Every step of the way.”
She swallowed, smiled quickly at her brother, and returned
to her knitting.
“Well then. What do ye need us to do?”
It had taken four days to prepare.
First, the raw whisky. Then the precious iodine. And
finally the lye – the three basic ingredients for ether. All ready to go – for the
mixture had to be created and used almost simultaneously.
It had taken nearly as long to convince nineteen-year-old
James Murray that his aunt wanted to put him to sleep and cut something out of
his throat – and that he’d emerge from the ordeal none the worse for wear.
But the potent combination of Ian, Murtagh, and Jamie had
worn him down – and he had grudgingly agreed.
Now he lay on the dining room table – stripped of linens,
and scrubbed with raw whisky by eight-year-old William. Fourteen-year-old
Brianna stood beside her mother, ready to assist.
Jenny stood beside her eldest child, a gently trembling
hand resting on his shoulder. Soothing.
“It’s all right, Mam,” he said for the third time. “Auntie
Claire kens what she’s about.”
At the foot of the table, Murtagh gravely nodded. Ian sat
in a high-backed chair off to the side, together with Fergus, Maggie, Kitty,
Janet, Michael, and wee Ian. And Mrs. Crook. And Rabbie MacNab.
“Aye, she does,” Jamie agreed from his spot across the
table from Jenny. “Are ye ready, Claire?”
Claire straightened up a bit and bent over the sideboard,
where she had assembled the three crucial ingredients. “Yes. Quiet, please?
This is quite delicate work.”
Jenny whispered a decade of the rosary as the group
watched Claire, Brianna, and William gently uncork the ingredients, carefully
mix them in a bowl, and quickly capture the product in a separate covered bowl.
Then William darted over to his cousin, and placed a linen
rag over his nose and eyes.
Young Jamie reached out his two hands – to be squeezed by
his mother and uncle.
Gingerly, Brianna brought the covered bowl of ether to the
dining table. Claire quickly doused her hands with whisky and sterilized her
wee knives with the rest.
“All right, Jamie?” Her voice was clear – strong – a tone
she rarely used, but which brooked no disagreement.
“Aye. Just be quick about it, aye?”
She smiled, and carefully poured the ether onto the rag.
Within ten seconds he was out cold.
William materialized at her side, holding a lamp – safely
covered behind glass – up to Young Jamie’s face.
“Keep the rag wet, Brianna. He can’t come up.”
And Claire gently pried Young Jamie’s jaw open, and began
It was quick – and very, very bloody. Within two minutes
she had placed a sizeable chunk of flesh in the bowl beside Young Jaime’s head.
“More, Brianna. He needs more.”
Dutifully she followed Claire’s instructions – fingers trembling.
Now Claire examined the rest of the throat – confirmed no
more inflammation – and began the sutures.
In and out – in and out.
Lallybroch had never been so silent.
“That’s right – good. Almost done.”
Brianna added more ether.
William held the lamp a bit closer.
Claire tied off the suture and cut the string.
Then finally looked up at her audience.
Jenny – eyes locked on her son, mesmerized.
William – arms trembling with the weight of the lamp.
Brianna – bright head bent to her work.
The Murrays and Frasers and staff huddled against the
wall, eyes wide with a mixture of fear and awe.
And Jamie – smiling so brightly, so proud.
“All right,” she swallowed, voice suddenly hoarse, body
suddenly going lax as adrenaline flooded out of her system.
“All right,” she repeated. “Let’s get this young man up
The room burst into enthusiastic applause and cheers.
Young Jamie woke up and groaned in pain.
In bed that night, Jamie cradled Claire close.
Young Jamie was healing under the watchful eyes of his
mother and cousin William.
Now it was Claire’s turn to heal.
Jamie didn’t say anything, just pushed her face into her
favorite spot on his chest, and counted her breaths.
“I didn’t think I could actually do it.”
He tsked. “And why is that?”
“I’ve never tried it before – it was risky. And I had to
find materials here. And I had only done it a few times before – in nurse’s
His thumb gently traced the bumps of her spine.
“And when I learned, it was the oldest method – the Williamson
Method. Dating from the 1850s. Old-fashioned.”
“Dinna look back. It worked, didn’t it?”
She sighed. “It did. I’m so very thankful that it did.”
He kissed her forehead.
“It’s good to know I can do that. In case it has to be
He kissed the corners of her tired eyes.
“Hush. Dinna think of that now. Just think about our
nephew, and how he will be well. Because of you.”
She exhaled, and leaned up to kiss him. So grateful.
Howdy friends! It’s wee bairn Marlo, coming to you live from a family holiday to Montreal. So many of you asked for a second part to my prompt surrounding doctor Claire and patient Jamie, which I have since dubbed A Medical Emergency (which you can readhere). And, considering how angsty the last few TSS fics have been (blame Kaitlyn and Mikayla), I figured it was time to deliver some fluff for your amusement!
As always, a major thank you to my Kilt Kult buddies and fellow TSS mods for keeping me on track and reassuring me that my writing isn’t trash. Also, I owe all of you a major shout out as well, as I would never have written this fic without your overwhelming positive response. So, thank you thank you thank you from the very bottom of my heart!
It was two weeks before Claire could stomach facing Jamie again. The surgery had been a success, and Claire had meticulously mended the shattered bones of Jamie’s hand. She hadn’t counted on the infection that set in, keeping him bedridden and feverish for nearly a week. Claire couldn’t help but feel responsible.
“It happens all the time LJ. I wouldn’t worry about it.” said Joe Abernathy, Claire’s fellow doctor and hospital confidante. She knew that there was nothing she could have done, that infections happen and it was out of her control, but the thought of seeing Jamie in more pain, with even the smallest chance of it being by her hand, was too much to bear. She didn’t know what is was about this Scot: his bull-headedness, the way his nose crinkled when he smiled at her as she was wheeling him into surgery, or how peaceful and innocent he looked under anesthesia, the softness of his face making him look like a child. Whatever it was, Claire found herself experiencing feelings she had never felt before, and it left her simultaneously terrified and exhilarated.
It was a Tuesday afternoon, and Claire had just finished a run of the mill appendectomy. Granted with a brief reprieve, she quickly cleaned herself off before heading to the on-call room, eager to take a quick rest before her pager summoned her again. Unfortunately, she found herself having to cross through the recovery wing, where Jamie lay behind the closed door of room 263. Claire had continued to follow his case, coercing nurses into providing valuable intel on his condition and moral.
“Yes, he is eating.”
“No. He doesn’t have a fever.”
“If you’re so interested Doctor, why don’t you go ask him yourself?”
Still, Claire refused to step foot in that room. The nagging guilt in her stomach surrounding his prolonged hospitalization, coupled with the more puzzling stirrings deep in the pit of her stomach, wouldn’t allow her to walk down the white tile hall leading up to his room. Unfortunately, she currently had no other option.
Continuing on from
womans-world I didn’t want to write a huge chapter about Claire and Laoghaire fighting it out because I don’t think it is a fight to be had, Claire has already won just because Jamie loves her, but based on a prompt I received here is a moment that I felt Voyager was missing - Laoghaire realising a little of what lies between our dear J+C. Thank you for reading, H xx
heavily through her nose and eyed Claire warily. Both women had sat quietly as
Jamie explained the situation to Laoghaire. She had blinked away tears and
flushed with anger in turn but at his urging had remained silent.
Claire for her part
had maintained a firm grip on Jamie’s thigh beneath the table, a small token of
her claim on him that she told herself was ridiculous, but kept all the same.
“Jamie, if ye wish to
be rid o’ the Sassenach, I will support ye wi’ a divorce petition and …”
“No, Laoghaire, I
thought Claire dead and would never have remarried had I ken the truth. It is
to her that I was wed first and with her I wish to remain.”
Jamie had said the
same thing in different ways more times than he could count and his patience
“But ye love me, do ye
Torn between shame,
guilt and frustration, Jamie hesitated and felt both women’s gaze upon him,
Laoghaire’s blue eyes as damp and hopeful as summer rain, Claire’s a blazing
inferno burning into him, a look that warned him to keep his silence at his
Jamie squeezed her fingers
gratefully beneath the table. His wife, his Sorcha, had never let him be a
coward. She understood and respected the parts of him that Laoghaire either did
not know were there or could not comprehend and so chose to ignore.
“No, I dinna love ye.
I’m sorry Laoghaire, truly. The hurt ye must feel rests at my feet and I will
see that you and your girls are seen right.”
When delivering bad
news after a surgery, Claire had the often seen the fight go out of a person.
Always after a long struggle and always when the latest verdict was final. She
saw it happen again now as Laoghaire’s shoulders rounded and the tight lines
around her mouth relaxed. Her worst fears had been confirmed and she could no
longer fool herself.
“The money is a help
but it isna a protection the likes of having a man…”
She shook her head
slowly and looked very, very tired.
“All these years of
loving ye, wantin’ ye and for this … I dinna ken why God would wish this upon
me. The humiliation of it…”
She seemed to be
talking to herself; her hands, rough and red from years of hard work, resting
on the table palm up and Claire was overcome with an urge to take hold the
younger woman’s fingers in her own. She realised that in her own poor and
misguided way, Laoghaire had loved Jamie. Perhaps not the man he was but the
man she saw in him and the realisation allowed compassion to overcome Claire’s
jealousy and anger.
“You are not
Claire said softly and
felt Jamie jerk beside her in surprise
“I am sorry that you
are hurt, but you pursued something that not meant to be. You and I know the
truth of how far you were willing to go to try and get it. Perhaps this is a
chance to start again… to find something real.”
Laoghaire snorted and
glared at Claire with sudden venom
“Do not dare to pity
me, bitch. Aye, I did ye wrong once when I was a girl and ye have come back to
pay me in kind all these years later, speak it plain and be done with it.”
“I haven’t come back
to do anything to you! My God! Your arrogance!”
Anger bloomed in
Claire’s chest afresh and she held Laoghaire’s gaze unwaveringly
“Arrogance? Ha! Ye sit
there claiming a man ye long since abandoned, stealin’ him away from his bairns
and yet ye speak to me of arrogance!”
“Jamie has just one
daughter. My daughter. Do not throw your children before you as a shield for
your own petty desires.”
“Speak of my children
again and I’ll rip the throat from ye! I see no bairn at your side, most like
as it is waitin’ for ye to return to it in the fires of Hell…”
Laoghaire screamed and
stood with surprising speed.
“Do you mean to let
her speak of Brianna that way?”
Claire demanded turning
to fix Jamie with that same withering look. Jamie opened his mouth to
speak but with a noise of disgust, Claire was on her feet and heading toward
“Claire! Stop it!”
Jamie caught his
wife’s arm and pulled her back, the arc of her outstretched palm sailing past
Laoghaire’s face, close enough to lift the hair from her neck.
“Enough! Both of ye
need to calm down! This is not … Oof!”
The breath left him as
Claire’s elbow found his gut but Jamie refused to relinquish his hold and half
dragged, half carried her toward the door.
Laoghaire made as if
to come after them, straightening her cap
“Dinna move another
Jamie glowered at her
and Laoghaire wilted beneath his gaze, sitting down obediently. Claire bit his
wrist sharply and Jamie cursed, bundling them both from the room.
“Let me GO!”
“No! I have lost ye
once and I’ll no’ lose ye again under the charge of murder.”
Jamie grunted, kicking
the door closed behind them and placing himself bodily in front of it,
releasing Claire and inspecting his arm, grinning.
“I think ye damn near
broke the skin, Sassenach.”
“I meant to break the
bone, you smug bastard!”
swiping the hair back from her face.
“How could you let her
speak like that? How could you let her think you LOVED her?”
“It was in the vows –
love, honour … ye ken them, aye?”
His grin was gone but
to Claire’s absolute fury he still sounded almost amused
“Oh and so you had no
“Should I have replaced
the words with a diatribe of vicious ill wishes?”
Jamie’s eyes had
narrowed and Claire could see that he was now close to losing his own temper
and she didn’t care.
“YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE
FUCKING MADE THEM!”
She screamed, the
words ripping from her throat with a guttural rawness. She seldom shouted,
unlike Jamie her anger was usually colder but she felt the heat of it now,
burning her from the inside out.
“You are mine, do you
“And Brianna is your
child! Not those girls! BRIANNA!”
“Do you hear me? I
have not been through EVERYTHING it took for me to get here for you to sit,
cowed in silence before that woman…”
“I wasna ‘cowed’!”
catching Claire’s wrist as she pointed an accusatory finger at his chest
“Get your bloody hands
OFF ME! I will not be intimidated by you or her or anyone else!”
“Aye! Ye make that
plain! Screaming the house down like a banshee! Do ye hear yourself, woman?”
“Oh! How awful of me! Of
course a woman should be silent and meek in your presence! The great James
“Careful Sassenach, I
ken ye are angry and I am tryin’ to respect that but my patience has its
“HA! Don’t I know it!”
On the other side of
the door, Laoghaire sat ramrod straight, eyes wide and mouth working silently
in awe. She would never have spoken to Jamie the way that woman did. She simply
would not have dared. It was not the way a wife spoke to her husband! A part of
her saw it as further evidence that she was morally superior to the Sassenach
but also …
To hear them rant at
each other and be able to still hear the love that lay betwixt them
reverberating over the raised voices and the curses was so strange and so
beautiful that for a moment Laoghaire didn’t know what to make of it. She had
led a life based on quick decisions and rash judgements that pride would not
let her renege on but she began to suspect that she had been wrong about some
Wrong about Jamie
loving the woman because she tricked him with her sweet musical voice and firm
breasts. No such flimsy trick could stand up beneath the barrage of insults and
squawking that was being thrown at him now.
Wrong about what made
a man desire a woman because she could hear the wanting in his voice, Jamie’s
beautiful, deep voice, raised in anger and frustration but filled with hunger
for Claire despite it all.
Wrong about her own
ability to drive the memory of his first wife away. Aye, she had so very
clearly been wrong about that. She couldn’t bring herself to admit that what
lay between the two warring people outside the door was a love like she had
fantasised having her entire life, but she could admit that her place was not
Gathering herself, she
marched forward and opened the door, swinging it hard enough to hit the wall
and bounce back, slamming shut again, but not before she saw Jamie kissing
Claire with the sort of fierce passion she had always imagined him capable of,
but had never seen before.
It settled the matter.
She seized the door and wrenched it open again, striding out, forcing her way
bodily between them with a mighty push. For the first time raising her voice to
Jamie Fraser she squared her shoulders and said
“Have each other then!
But ye will pay my rent and my girls dowry and no’ argue it!”
Before storming out of
Lallybroch for the last time.
Claire blinked as if
waking and looked up at Jamie. With all the turmoil between them, she had
rather forgotten that Laoghaire was still in the room.
Jamie puffed out his
cheeks and shrugged
“No a verra dignified
moment but it seems to have solved any lingering issue there.”
“Yes, yes it rather
Claire wiped a hand
across her lips and reached up to touch a graze at Jamie’s temple.
“We should probably
try not to savage each other for a day or two …”
“I make no promises,
Jamie smiled, placing
a gentle kiss on the bridge of her nose
so i've been reading all of your outlander meta lately and i love it so much, it really adds a new dimension. obviously this is a big request but since outlander (the first book) was from clare's perspective, do you think there are some passages before jaime marries her which are indicative of his interest towards her? he always seemed subdued to me but i'm not a careful reader
Thanks Anon. I’m thrilled you’re enjoying my old meta posts. I desperately want to write more but they take so long, I just don’t have the time to do as many of them as I did when I first started posting here on Tumblr.
I think there are a LOT of passages from the first book that show evidence of Jamie’s interest in Claire, even though they’re written from Claire’s perspective. One pretty good indicator is when Claire finds a way to explain his behavior as being due to something else––as evidence that he’s interested in Laoghaire or evidence that he sees her (Claire) as a friend, etc. Claire is heavily into denial at that point of the story, still intent of finding a way back to Frank and considering herself still very married to him. Acknowledging Jamie’s interest could be the first step to acknowledging her own interest so she tends to just shut both down at the source. Jamie also tends to downplay his obvious interest and turns a lot of his remarks towards jokes and general friendliness so he doesn’t scare Claire off.
Luckily, the adaptation absolutely nailed conveying Jamie’s interest in Claire in most of these scenes so not only are you getting a few passages from Claire and Jamie’s greatest hits, there are a few gifs to go along with them.
The many similarities between Outlander’s Claire Fraser and Blindspot’s Jane Weller
Sing me a song of a lass who is gone, say could that lass be I?
All that was good, all that was fair, all that was me is gone…
I’ve gotten some lovely messages about my silly little “Jane reads Outlander” fic (thank you, all you beautiful tumblrs!!). I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the many ways in which Claire and Jane are alike as I wait impatiently for season three of both Outlander and Blindspot. And these thoughts got… ahem…. long-winded (which surprises absolutely none of you) and turned into an essay. (Sorry to those of you who were just here for the fluffy little fics. More of those coming eventually, I promise.)
Outlander: I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing (Jamie/Claire)
They thought they had all the time in the world and they still lived their love like every minute together might be their last. Credit for this lovely thing goes as always to my talented sis Julia LeBlanc.( @moduinne-and-redjamie )Credit for content goes to Starz. Song credit: I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith. Subscribe for more #Outlander vids once, sometimes twice a week!