Does Jamie ever visit Claire in Boston in the Vietnam AU?
They took three days to drive up I-81 to Boston.
On Monday morning, Claire called her advisor to tell him she’d miss the entire week of classes. Which, in the big scheme of things, wasn’t that much of an issue – she needed to process the data she’d collected in Dr. Beaton’s clinic by the end of the semester, but that was still six weeks away.
And there was no power on earth that would part her from Jamie now.
As she had made the necessary arrangements – sitting in bed, the Fraser plaid wrapped around her shoulders, sipping the strong black coffee Jamie had brewed for her – she watched him pack away clothes and books for the trip.
They didn’t know how long he would stay – only that they’d use the car trip to figure it out.
To figure *everything* out.
So quickly they had come back to each other – so quickly everything in their separate lives had to be merged.
But there was no fear that it wouldn’t be figured out – just confidence that it *would*.
On Monday afternoon, with their suitcases and a basket of food safely tucked away in the bed of Jamie’s battered pickup, she had kissed Ian and Jenny goodbye. Jamie made his farewells with Murtagh – the older man clasping his godson in a long embrace – and then they were rumbling down the gravel driveway, pausing at the gate to wave at the Murrays and Frasers still standing on the front porch of the big house.
And then Claire had flipped on the car radio, and they glided through the trees, Jamie’s right hand resting on her thigh, both of them quietly humming along to The Eagles:
Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling // And I know you won’t let me down…
They made it to the quiet, hazy mountains of Shenandoah National Park by dusk. Jamie parked the truck at one of the many scenic overlooks, and Claire slid over on the bench seat, resting her head on his shoulder, watching the last tendrils of sun sink below the horizon.
“I don’t know how we’ll make it work, Claire – but we will. I promise you.”
His thumb traced a mole at the top of her right arm, darting beneath her shirtsleeve for a caress.
“I know we will. We are neither of us whole, alone.”
He kissed the crown of her head. She wrapped her arms around his middle, hooking her thumbs in the loops of his jeans.
One mile over we’ll be there and we’ll see you // Ten true summers we’ll be there and laughing too…
“I don’t want to be half a person again, Claire,” he whispered, so softly. “I couldn’t bear it.”
“Hush,” she soothed, leaning up and quieting him with a kiss. “You won’t have to. We’ll get to Boston, figure out how long you’ll stay. I only have a little over a year left – that’s not terrible. Not when it took us so long to find each other again. And then we’ll go back to Lallybroch – for good.”
He brought her closer – a long, deep kiss.
“And we have to plan our church wedding,” he breathed against her lips. “I can’t wait to marry you again.”
Even in the half-dark, her smile was dazzling.
They slept in the cool, fresh air that night, soothed to sleep by the rustling trees, nestled under a pile of blankets in the back of the truck.
Sometime in the darkness, Jamie woke Claire and made love to her, slowly and tenderly, not speaking. She watched stars winking through the lattice of black branches overhead, and fell asleep again with his comforting weight still warm on top of her. Praying this wasn’t all a dream.
Overjoyed with the dawn to find that they were still together.
Celebrating with a wake-up kiss.
They passed through Maryland that morning, stopping for a steaming, mouth-watering bucket of crab by the side of the road. Jamie delighted in licking the Old Bay seasoning from her fingers.
Then through Harrisburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania. Forests. Coal country.
They listened to country western, and hymns, and rock, and whatever they could find on the radio.
Talked about Boston – and Boone – and what they would name their children.
Somewhere near Binghamton, New York that song came on. And Jamie wordlessly pulled over on the interstate, turned on his flashers, and seized Claire.
Shaking hands and unyielding belt buckles and a burst seam in Jamie’s jeans were no match for their sudden, desperate hunger to become one.
Outside in the cold distance a wildcat did prowl // Two riders were approaching // And the wind begins to howl…
Gasping for breath when it was over – quick, but not so quick that Jamie didn’t see to her needs – Claire insisted they find a place to stay for the night.
The Bonnie Motor Inn was run by a fellow veteran – he gave Jamie a 20% discount on a room that was small, and clean, and theirs.
They shared a bucket of fried chicken at the small diner down the block – then a long, restorative shower. And sleep, after giggling over Johnny Carson, ridiculously entwined on the twin mattress.
They made it to Boston by late afternoon on Wednesday, Jamie faithfully following Claire’s directions through a leafy residential neighborhood that didn’t quite match his mental image of where she would live.
But then they pulled into a driveway – and Jamie saw Dr. Joe Abernathy sweating over his lawnmower – and Claire threw open the door, racing across the garden to tackle him in a bear hug.
Jamie couldn’t hear them until he cut the engine –
“…still can’t believe it, Joe. I swear I must be living in some kind of fairy tale – ”
- and saluted the man who had helped Claire save his life.
Joe wiped his sweaty brow on his sleeve, straightened, and returned the salute.
“Bout time you two wised up,” he smiled. “Come on – let’s see what Gail’s got cooking for dinner.”