where is Claire when I need her

Escape: the medical school years

It wasn’t easy.  He’d bitten his tongue more times than he could count. Lord knew Claire could get sharp tongued when she was stressed, but it was what he promised, and he would not break his vow.  He would support Claire through medical school any way he could.  Emotionally, physically, monetarily, it didn’t matter.

Night after night she spent studying in their flat.  Night after night he checked on her only to find she’d fallen asleep at her desk, or on the sofa with a book spread across her chest or fallen to the floor.  Night after night, he roused his wife, and led her stumbling, half-asleep to bed.

Night after night he let her rest while his body raged for her.  

It never stopped, the wanting her.  Some nights she tossed, muttering and restless. Some nights she thrashed and never fully settled.  He would not take advantage.  He would gather her in his arms, and soothe her with whispered words of love in Gaelic and rub her back until she stilled.  

Some nights she turned to him in desperation, grabbed for him, begged him. Those nights he took his wife in a passion born of abstinence too long observed.  

And then the drought would return.

The night before her anatomy exam Claire asked him to help her study. 

“I’ll do what I can, Sassenach.”  Jamie reached for her textbook.

“No.  I need to you lie down, and just let me name the structures of the body.”

He nodded.

“Naked.”

Jamie’s brows shot up. “Ye want me to be naked?  I dinna see how that helps ye study.”  

Claire flapped her hands impatiently.  “It’s what we do. We work with cadavers and study the different systems in the body.  It helps me if I can just go over it that way.  I’m not much for memorization via a textbook.”

“Ye want me to lay there.  Like a dead man.  Naked as a bairn.”

“Yes. Yes, I do.”  Claire looked up at her husband.  “Please?”

Jamie shook his head.  “I dinna understand it a bit, Sassenach, but if ye think it’ll help ye.”  He pulled off his shirt, and shucked his pants.  Claire had to smile at her Scottish husband.  Never any underwear. Ever.  

“Bottoms up or…?” he gestured to his crotch.  

“On your back first.”  Claire giggled.  

Jamie lay on the bed, and closed his eyes.  Claire got right to work starting with his skull and naming the bones.  While she never actually touched him, he could tell her hands were close to his skin. He listened to her unwavering voice.  He was impressed.  She knew her stuff.  When she finished the skeletal system she started over with the muscles, then the nervous system.  

He was fine until she started in on the circulatory system.  Her finger lightly traced the veins and arteries down his neck, across his shoulder, from his arms and torso to his femoral artery.  He couldn’t help it.  Claire’s touch never failed to arouse him.

“Jamie. Concentrate.”

“Sassenach.”  He cracked his eyes open to cat like slits, pinning her with his deep blue eyes.  “I ken ye want me to be a dead man.  But my, what did ye call it?  My ‘corpora cavernosa’ dinna ken that.”  He closed his eyes again.  

She continued with her work and asked him to roll over. Right. How, exactly does a man in my condition lie on his front, then?  

Again, her delicate hands traced his body, a brush here, a light finger there. All the time naming his body parts with a sure and steady voice.  

When she was finished he breathed a sigh of relief and got up, opening a drawer for his sleep pants.    

“Again.”

Jamie looked over his shoulder at her.  “Nay, Claire.  I’m done.”  She couldn’t seriously expect him to live through that again.

“Jamie. Please.”  

“No, Claire.  I listened to ye. Ye ken fine what yer doing. Ye never faltered. Yer ready for yer exam.  Now, put the textbook away and let’s get some sleep, aye?”

Claire panicked.  She never felt ready for an exam.  If she could just run through it one more time she’d feel so much better.  “Jamie, you said you’d help!”

Jamie took a deep breath trying to control his impatience. He understood her nervousness, he truly did, but sometimes Claire’s fear got the better of her. “Claire. Come, mo graidh.  Ye’ll be fine.”  

“Jamie, please!”  

Her voice was all Nurse Beauchamp, but Jamie was not her patient. Nor was he a practice dummy.  What he was, was a sexually frustrated husband. 

Which is why he snapped.  

“Jamie, please?  Please?  No, Claire, that’s the one thing Jamie canna do. He canna “please”.  I’ve no’ had the pleasure of my wife for weeks.  So dinna make it sound like I’m being unreasonable here.”  

Claire was shocked.  “What the bloody hell does that mean?”  

His voice was a low rasp of need.  “It means, Sassenach, that if ye run yer hands o’re my body one more time I’m no’ gonna pretend to be a dead man for much longer.  I’ll be very much alive wi’ you under me, knickers off, and me so deep inside ye, ye won’t know where I start and you end.”  

She gasped.  Claire stared into her husband’s eyes and saw the truth of it. The banked desire.  That hint of loneliness that she only witnessed one other time in her life.  

But dammit, he knew it would be like this.  She had warned him!  

When the guilt began to claw at her she fought back.  “Fine.  I’ll study downstairs then.” 

She grabbed her textbook, took one step towards the bedroom door and found herself lifted off her feet by his arm around her waist. She shrieked, and dropped the book.  

Jamie fell onto the bed taking Claire with him.  “Nay, lass. Not tonight.  Tonight ye come to bed on time.  Wi’ me.”

Claire pushed at his chest, but he was immovable.  Jamie pushed up Claire’s shirt and fastened his mouth on her breast.  She moaned.  It had been a long time.  The sensation hit her fast and she melted.  She maneuvered her shirt over her head and pressed him to her.  Jamie growled in response and wrapped his arm under her hips to press her to him.

Ifrinn, Claire.  God, I’ve missed ye.”  His mouth covered hers and she closed her eyes to the feeling of Jamie surrounding her.  Her legs were tangled in his and she lifted her hips in silent communication.  Jamie rolled to his back taking her with him.  When she was on top, he unfastened the button on her jeans, yanked at the zipper and pushed them down as far as he could, hooking her panties with them.  He rolled again, Claire under him, as he helped her in her attempt to kick them off.  

Naked.  Finally.  He nudged her knees wide and settled between her thighs. Tearing his mouth from hers he looked at her.  Hair wild.  Whisky eyes dazed in passion.  Mouth swollen.  Breath coming fast.  God, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. And she was his.  

“Jamie.  Please.”  That made him smile. That kind of begging he could listen to all night.

As much as he wanted to draw this out and savour the moment, he couldn’t. Claire’s hands were hot and desperate.  She wound her arm around his neck, pulling his mouth down to her, the other holding his bottom pressing him into her. 

It didn’t take long, and Jamie didn’t care.  They had been too long without. 

Sweet release.  

Claire wrapped her arms around her husband’s back, and hugged him tight. Jamie’s weight was the most comforting feeling in the world. He grounded her, held her fears at bay. She ran her hands down his back, feeling his familiar scars like a talisman.  

“Are ye studying again?” Jamie mumbled, head tucked against his wife’s neck, luxuriating in her touch.  

Claire smiled against his russet curls.  “Latissimus dorsi, external obliques, internal obliques, God, Jamie, you have the most amazing iliac crest.”  

“I do?” Jamie laughed.  “Weel, I have to admit, I’m rather fond of yer gluteus maximus, myself.”  His hand slid up her side, “And yer pectoral muscles are fine, too.”  

They laughed together.   He was her life, her love, her strength, her rock.  

“Thanks for helping me study,” she whispered.

Jamie planted a kiss on her collar bone.  “As long as it ends in a hands-on practice session, it’ll be my pleasure.”

A Wild Night in Vegas -- Part 12

Two chapters in two weeks! @outlandishchridhe and I are rather proud of ourselves, honestly. And, because this chapter is INCREDIBLY long (13 pages on our Google doc [a new record!]) I’m putting it after a break. If it won’t load for you, you can read the full chapter over on my AO3 account HERE

I have to dedicate this chapter to my wonderful mum @thatwetwomaybeoneagain who kindly requested we put in a bit of canon dialogue. So we did, and I hope you enjoy it mum!


Fraser Bairn Watch: Month 6

Keep reading

Fic: Walking in the deep blue night

Part three of my Heartlines AU.

Part 1 Whiskey on a Pink Dress

Part 2 - Breathing in the Half Light

——————————————————————

Originally posted by undertheinfinite





He arrived outside Taps for the third time and checked his watch. 6.45. He’d been round the block three times and it was still far too early. Should he go in and wait? Or should he wait outside? Or should he walk around a while longer to avoid looking too over eager?

“Jesus, Jamie. Getting a bloody grip on yerself man. She’s only a woman”

But what a woman. He hadn’t been able to get the image of her out of his head. He’d spent the whole day languishing around his apartment like a lovesick teenager, thinking about her. The soft curl of her hair on her shoulder. The way she looked at him when she’d run her finger down his cheek. He’d also fielded several angry calls and text messages from his friends wondering where he’d run off to.

“Ye’re no Cinderella, ye know’ grumbled Rupert “Ya didna need to be running off before the clock struck midnight.”

“Ah, but my work there was done, Rupe. I’d already been swept off my feet” He recounted his meeting with Claire and his plans to see her that evening.

“Ye were cramping our style there anyway.” laughed back Rupert.

“Aye, I can see how 4 married men in their thirties and forties would have been the toast of the club” Despite his big talk, Rupert had been happily married to his childhood sweetheart for 15 years and was as blissfully happy now as he had been the day he married Gina.

Rupert laughed again. “Aye, well. Gina asks are ya coming to dinner on Wednesday, she’ll likely grill you about the lassie but the kids have been asking for their Uncle Jamie.”

“I’ll be there, wouldn’t want to disappoint the bairns. Or Gina.” he added wryly.

He’d then spent an inordinate amount of time picking out clothes and trying to decide if the fact he had his knickers in a knot about going out for a drink with a woman he had spoken to for probably no more than 7 minutes meant he had severe emotional problems. Why was he so uptight? Whilst he’d not exactly been Glasgow’s version of Casanova, he had been on dates in the last few years. There had been the nice dentist that he met in the supermarket and gotten to talking to over a discussion on the merits of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc versus Napier. They’d had dinner a few times. He’d even kissed her, but he felt no desire to pursue her and when she text him to let her know she’d been asked out by someone else, he’d wished her joy and simply never thought of her again. He vaguely realised now that probably hadn’t been her main motivation is revealing that tit bit to him.  Then there was F&B journalist he’d met at a craft beer fair when he’d first started diversifying the farm. They’d gone out once she’d spent the entire night talking about her ex, who was a musician before puking in his car on the way home. He’d seen her at a few events since but she’s given him a wide berth. His car still smelt a bit on hot days.

But this, he knew, was different. He wanted to see her, to be in her company, to breath the same air as her. The thought of hearing her laugh, of maybe being the one who made her laugh…

After his fourth lap of the block he arrived back outside the bar. 6.55. He took a deep breath and pushed the door open. It was quiet, being Sunday night and the bar contained about a dozen people. A small group of men in the corner drinking stout and discussing the different brews, a couple at the bar, and Claire.

She sat at a table near the window, staring out at the street. There was a book of poetry spine up in front of her and she had glass and bottle in front of her. Her hair was pulled back slightly, but was starting to escape near the front. She wore black jeans and a black shirt.Her pale skin seemed to glow.  She was lovelier than he had remembered.

“I promise to try not to spill that one down you” he said with a smile. She looked up at him and he motioned to the drink in front of her. “I’m not saying I won’t, but I promise I’ll try”

She smiled back and stood. There was an awkward moment when neither of them seemed to really know what to do. He wanted to touch her, but a hug seemed too familiar, a handshake too formal. Claire solved the dilemma by putting her hand on his arm.

“It’s lovely to see you, Jamie” she said sincerely and he felt the heat rise in his face slightly.

“Oh great” he thought, “now I’m blushing” Claire sat, not seeming to notice the colour which had flooded his cheeks. She gestured for him to do the same. “I’ll just get a drink, can I get you another? A whiskey this time?”

“Oh, no, a little early in proceedings for whiskey yet. I’ll have another of these.” She tipped the bottle towards him. Lady Broch Taurach pale ale. He grinned at her. “You like that do you?”

 “oh yes, my friend Joe at work introduced me to craft beers and he’s a big fan of a little brewery near Inverness, Lallybroch, I think they’re called. I’ve developed a taste for this one”

He nodded and headed to the bar. Lallybroch microbrewery was the most recent expansion he had made to his family business. Lallybroch had been in his family since forever and was a the main factor in his decision to leave oil and gas and come home to Scotland. He was strangely chuffed that she was drinking his beer, brewed on his farm and although he knew it to be simple coincidence, he could not help but feel the same jolt of serendipitous good fortune that he’d felt when he had, quite literally, bumped into her the night before.

He returned with the drinks and sat down next to her so they could both look out of the window. Its started to rain. Because of course it had. It was Scotland. They chatted aimlessly and easily and Jamie’s nerves dissipated slightly. He was still incredibly aware of her, but she was so unassuming, so funny. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had so much fun. She told him about her job at the hospital. She’s a surgeon. He told her about Lallybroch. She picked up the bottle in front of her. “I’m impressed. And who or what, exactly is a Lady Broch Taurach?”

“Well,” he settled in to tell a much loved story. “Lallybroch has been in my family since the eighteenth century. Back then we owned the whole estate, and our family were Lairds. The estate was called Broch Taurach, the Laird and his Lady were named for the estate. We just have the farm now, but it’s plenty.  The farm itself is a proper working hill sheep farm and we have some highland cattle as well. We have a tourist bit, with a gift shop and a restaurant and the such. And then about 18 months ago I opened the brewery. We sell to quite a few places. ‘The Laird’s bedroom’, which is a stout and the pale ale” he gestured to Claire’s drink “are probably our top sellers. I live in Glasgow most of the time, running the business side of things and my sister and her husband run the farm day to day”

“A brewer, my dream man” she said with a giggle taking a swig. By this point they’d both had more than was probably sensible or wise on a Sunday night and were both finding life and each other hilarious.

“So how did you end up in Scotland? A wee Sassenach lassie like yer self?” he deliberately thickened his highland accent  in the second half of the question and once again felt a warmth in the pit of his stomach at the sheer pleasure of making her laugh.

“Oh, well” her face darkened a bit “Well, it was my husband. Frank.”

“Your, your husband?” he swallowed audibly.

“Oh we’re divorced now. That tends to happen when your wife finds you in bed with your Phd student” She said this flippantly enough, but her jaw was set and her eyes had dulled.

“I’m sorry t’hear that, Claire”

“It’s fine, really, it’s just, well” She gestured vaguely into the air in a manner that conveyed that whilst things might be fine now, at some point in the not very distant past they had been a long way from fine. “It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t just lost the baby” Tears welled in her eyes and he could see her trying to master herself. He reached forward and took her hand.

“You don’t have to tell me. You don’t owe me anything, but if you want to talk. Well, I’ll do what I can to listen”  She gave him a watery half smile at that.

“Thank you, but really. It’s in the past. It was very hard at the time. I had to do a lot to move past it, but I did and I try not to look back.”

She squeezed his hand.

“I think I might let you buy me that whiskey now”

Several very good whiskeys later he had in turn told her all about Geneva, his terrible relationship history and the real reason for his being in the nightclub on the previous night.

Claire was doubled over with laughter as he reenacted the various conversations he had with people in the run up to the night itself.

“Why everyone seemed so sure I was gonna meet the love of my life in a dodgy Glasgow disco with sticky carpets and one pound shots I’ll never know? They must have really thought I was a hopeless case”

“I’m fairly certain that was why we ended up there as well. Glenna, one of the nurses I work with, has been trying to set me up for the past year. I know that Altered Images is definitely not poor Mary’s scene and from the way Geillie and Glenna were literally trying to throw me in the path of every man that came by, I suspect this was another attempt at finding me ‘a braw laddie’” She did a truly awful Scottish accent and they both laughed again.

“Ya know what, Claire?” he asked as he regained his composure, “I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I have tonight, with you” Her colour heightened slightly at the compliment and she looked him in the eye.

Her eyes are the same colour as the whiskey he noted abstractly. Warm and golden, and so deep and rich you could lose yourself in them.

The moment was broken by the bar man coming over and asking them to drink up. Glancing around Jamie realised they were alone in the bar. He glanced at his watch.

“I er, well” He stuttered trying to find his thoughts. He did not want the night to end, but given that it was a Sunday night could think of no way to extend it.

“Would you like to come back to my place?” Claire asked outright with no hint of nervousness. “I have whiskey” she added teasingly, seeing him hesitate.

“Aye, why not?” He suddenly felt very alive and not a small bit reckless. He had no expectations of her, but the idea of irresponsibly drinking Scapa Glansa on a Sunday night with the woman of his dreams seemed like too good a chance to pass up.

“I only live around the corner, we can walk” Gathering up her book, which lay discarded on the table, and bag she held out a hand to him. He took it and together they walked out into the rainy night

Love in Other Words
(Part Two of Two)

Part One


By the time Jamie caught up to Ian and Claire, Ian had worn down much of Claire’s resistance. When she saw Jamie and the pleading in his eyes, the rest dissolved. She had come for more than just herself; she had come to bring him news of his daughter and was slightly ashamed to have been so quick to run away.

That didn’t make the prospect of meeting with him in the house he shared with another woman any more palatable, however.

With Ian accompanying them on the walk to that house, there was little either was comfortable saying to the other. Luckily, the lad––who had come to Edinburgh to surprise his uncle and enjoy himself––was more than happy with the excitement of the unexpected turn of events.

“Mam says ye’re the one told her to start plantin’ potatoes and that it’s a right miracle ye did,” he informed Claire as he worked on recounting everything he’d ever heard said of her, the mysterious aunt who healed folk and seemed to have the sight––might even be a fairy or possibly a witch.

“That’s right,” Claire confirmed for him.

“Dinna talk yer auntie’s ear off before we even get home,” Jamie chided, then flushed as he caught Claire looking sideways at him.

Claire took a deep breath as Ian ran ahead to the front door of what must be Jamie and Mary’s house; it looked like the two houses on either side had crowded in on it and in response it had sucked in it’s stomach and raised itself on its toes in an attempt to be taller and skinnier.

Jamie’s hand was suddenly on her elbow helping to guide her up the steps and through the door behind Ian.

It smelled wonderful. Mary had meat roasting in a deep skillet set at the edge of the hearth and Claire thought she smelled some vegetables and butter alongside them. The space, while small, was clean, warm, and inviting. There was already a small pallet in one corner with blankets that Ian was arranging for his use that evening. There were a few shelves with books, a shadow of the study and library he’d had at Lallybroch; perhaps he had even printed those copies himself. A pair of chairs sat opposite each other near the hearth, a basket of knitting and mending next to one, the other in reach of the bookshelves. Claire could easily picture them sitting together in the evening, Mary mending Jamie’s shirt while he read to her.

Jamie kept contact with Claire, his hand drifting from her elbow to the small of her back as he led her inside.

Mary appeared from the doorway that led to the kitchen and dining area and smiled encouragingly at Claire.

“Supper will be ready presently. Jamie can show ye upstairs to wash if ye like.”

Claire turned to Jamie who nodded but she could also see the self-consciousness in the flush creeping up his neck.

The stairway was narrow and steep and Claire was incredibly aware of everything around her as Jamie opened to what could only be the bedroom he shared with Mary. The bed sported two distinct depressions––she couldn’t help noting the space between them; there was a single small table that they clearly shared with Mary’s brush and hair pins on one side and a small stack of paper with a bottle of ink and a single quill marking Jamie’s side.

Claire spotted the second smaller table with its basin and ewer and a small mirror next to the door and moved to do something that, after years of surgery, she found incredibly calming. Jamie poked around the room while Claire poured the water and scrubbed away the dust and sweat of her journey then dampened a nearby cloth to wipe it from her face and neck too. She caught Jamie’s reflection in the mirror watching her from a seat on the edge of the bed as she toyed with some loose tendrils of her hair, repinning them and patting down the frizz.

It was easier for her to begin while not looking at him directly.

“I thought he was your son,” she said quietly.

“I ken what ye thought,” Jamie admitted. “He’s more a son to me than any of Jenny and Ian’s other bairns––they’ve six and near twice as many grandbairns now… But I’ve no children with Mary.”

There was a beat and Claire waited for him to finish the thought or by any other women but when his eyes found hers––even in the reflection of the mirror––she could see that it wasn’t coming. His fear that she would flee again was also evident when his eyes drifted from hers to the door just a foot away. She swallowed then carefully rinsed and wrung out the dirty cloth she’d been using before folding it and setting it next to the basin.

“I do have a son, but I need ye to let me explain,” he begged.

Claire nodded and moved to sit beside him on the bed, her hands flat on the fabric of her skirt.

“Go ahead,” she told him keeping her eyes on the fading redness in her fingers from where she had scrubbed the skin hard from habit.

Jamie told her about his time at Helwater and Ardsmuir before that; about Major Grey and how his brother had spared his life after Culloden; he told her about the cave and the one night he shared there with Mary.

“When we wed––Mary and I––she said that night had been consummation enough though it was years before. That night before I was handed over… she was right––it gave me something that helped me when I went to Ardsmuir… but it took something from me too,” Jamie tried to explain. He couldn’t look at Claire but he could feel her sitting there beside him listening and saying nothing. “I think she didna want me to lose more of whatever it was… that what there was to gain wasna enough to justify that loss.”

“And… you lost some of that with… with the woman at Helwater?” Claire asked.

Jamie nodded. “I dinna quite ken what it is but… I think it’s to do with you… with the man I was when I was with ye; the man ye made me.”

“Did the boy––your son––did… did he give some of it back?”

The corner of Jamie’s mouth ticked up but Jamie shrugged. “Perhaps. He was a braw lad and did bring me joy though I couldna claim him for my own. I didna see him much when he was a wee thing––more when he got so he could walk and would make his nurses mad wi’ findin’ trouble. His mother’s family would ha’ let him commit murder wi’out taking him to task but he minded me well enough and the horses fascinated him. I could see… He didna have my hair––and thank the lord for small miracles for that… but I could see a bit of myself in him and the way he looked. I always… wondered…” Jamie peeked up at Claire then but she was still looking at her hands in her lap. “I wondered… did he look like his brother? Was Brian that old when he walked first or started talkin’… I didna think you would be so indulgent as William’s nurses were.”

“Brian?” Claire blinked, momentarily confused.

Jamie watched tears flood her eyes as his meaning settled and Claire reached for something in her skirt pocket, something that rustled.

“You can see for yourself,” she explained extricating a small packet that had some sort of shiny film encasing it. “But, your William doesn’t have an older brother,” she handed him the packet. They seemed to be some sort of printed paper but of a thick stock and with a shiny finish that was different from the transparent film that Claire had removed. “I called her Brianna,” Claire told him, adjusting the item in his hands so that he could make out the image of a swaddled newborn. “She’s named for both your parents, actually––Brianna Ellen. She did inherit your hair…” Claire pointed to one of the images that was brightly colored, the lass’ ruddy hair vibrant enough to touch. She moved that image behind to stack to bring a new one to the front. Brianna looked out from the photo with annoyance and disgust as laughs escaped both Jamie and Claire. “She’s got more than a bit of your temper and stubbornness too.”

“She’s beautiful, Claire,” Jamie said, his voice full of tears and his fingers gripping the photographs tightly.

She looked up at him with worry. His eyes were still locked on the photos though she knew he couldn’t see them through the tears.

“I’m… I’m so sorry I couldna… that I canna…” he mumbled.

Instinctively Claire slipped an arm around him and guided his head till it came to rest on her shoulder. The photos fluttered as his grip loosened and they drifted to the floor, his freed hands and arms tightening desperately around Claire. She clung to him, too.

“Do ye think… Do ye feel…” Jamie mumbled into her hair.

“What do I feel?” Claire asked before sighing and letting her head rest against his, her cheek pressed to the warmth of his throat. “I feel… tired. I’m tired of missing you; I’m tired of being angry with you for making me go; I’m tired of being scared of what you’ll think or what you’ll say.” As she spoke her tears flowed freely, wetting his throat and dribbling down the back of his neck. She was vaguely aware of his tears dampening the collar of her dress. “I’m tired of living without you.”

“Aye… In twenty years there’s not a day I’ve not thought of ye and longed to have ye with me… that I’ve no wanted to talk to ye or just have yer hand to hold,” he murmured. “Now ye’re here… If ye go again…”

Claire sniffed and turned her face away from his neck, keeping her cheek pressed to his shoulder but looking at the table with Mary’s things on it.

“And what about Mary? If you didn’t have another wife…”

Jamie’s deep breath shuddered through Claire causing her to pick up her head and pull back to look at him. He rubbed at his red and watery eyes.

“If… If Mary weren’t my wife any longer…”

“I didn’t come here to break apart whatever it is you’ve built with her,” Claire interrupted firmly but with evident pain. “I’ve been close enough to the other side before––”

“Frank had a wife before ye and she came back for him did she?” Jamie quipped but Claire wasn’t amused. Jamie bent to begin retrieving the fallen photographs.

“I might not have loved Frank the way I love you––maybe not even the way you care for Mary––but I’ve been close enough to having someone else upend my entire life without asking. I’m not about to do the same to someone else––especially not someone who’s done nothing wrong,” Claire argued.

“Ye’re right… It’s no the same wi’ me and Mary as it was for you and Frank,” he said rising from the bed to retrieve the scattered photographs from the floor. “She never sought to replace ye or made me feel guilty for no bein’ able to let ye go. She’s been a comfort and no mistake but you…” He set the carefully stacked photographs with his things on the table and crossed to take Claire’s face gently between his hands, making it impossible for her to look away from him. “You alone heal me down to my very soul. Havin’ ye near makes me feel whole again, makes me feel stronger. Ye’re the heart of my life.” He bent his head and kissed the tracks of her tears along her cheeks until she took hold of his wrists and offered him her lips.

The kiss left her breathless and the silence stretched between them as he rested his forehead against hers. They could hear the commotion downstairs as Mary told Ian that supper wasn’t ready just yet and the over-eager teen whined about how hungry he was.

“I should go see if she needs any help,” Claire whispered. “It’s the least I can do.”

Jamie nodded and helped pull Claire to her feet. She led the way while he secreted the photographs of Brianna away.


Once his stomach was full, Ian curled up on the pallet in the corner and promptly fell asleep.

“Did anyone notice whether he turned around three times first?” Claire asked quietly.

It had surprised her how calm everything had been after she and Jamie came back downstairs; Mary smiled and asked Claire about her journey, about where she’d been and what had happened, how she’d heard about Jamie and found him after all this time. It was impossible not to relax confronted with such warmth and welcome. Ian too had chimed in with questions––what was life like for her in France, had she kept in touch with the other Jacobites who had managed to escape, why hadn’t she written to his parents once she was settled to let them know she lived.

“I’m sorry if it feels like I’m questioning ye too much,” Mary apologized, rising to remove the bowls and dirtied plates. “It’s just… ye always were such a mystery even before.”

“Let me help you wash up,” Claire offered taking her own bowl to the kitchen area. She heard Jamie rising and locking the house up for the night, adding a log to the fire and pulling a third chair over.

Alone with Mary, Claire felt compelled to apologize.

“If I had known about you and Jamie…”

Mary waved a dismissive hand at Claire. “If either of ye had kent the truth about the other bein’ still alive, there wouldna be anythin’ for ye to worry yerself over. It shouldna take too long to straighten this mess.”

“You… truly don’t mind?” Claire asked, still unconvinced.

Mary smiled to herself. “I ken ye didna notice me so much about Lallybroch when ye were there––no wi’ what ye had just gone through yerself.”

Claire blushed at the memory of those early days back in Scotland after everything that had happened in France. It did take a while for the comforts of Lallybroch and the reassurance of having Jamie with her where they belonged had healed those still-fresh hurts.

“I noticed you,” she assured Mary. “I don’t know that I ever told you how sorry I was about what happened to your husband––to Ronald, that is.”

Mary nodded. “I tried to dissuade him, ye ken. After the beating Jamie gave him and Rabbie goin’ to work in yer stables. I tried to get him to leave it but he wouldna heed and… Ye’d done my Rabbie a kindness and I tried to repay ye… tried and failed. And Mistress… that is… Jenny––she and Ian showed still more kindness givin’ me a place at Lallybroch too after the fire. And when ye came back and Rabbie had his fits…”

Claire heard the thickening of Mary’s voice as she rambled and the somewhat strangled noise as Mary swallowed her tears.

“I ken what ye would say––that ye’d have done as much for anyone––and I’m sure ye would. You and Jamie both… It’s just yer way. But it’s meant so much to me and mine… Yer Jamie needed someone to turn to when ye were gone and I’ve tried to be that for him since I couldna prevent what Ronald did before… I think I’ve done him some good though what he needed of me wasna what I first expected. Now ye’re here the best good I can do for both of ye is to let ye be. No… I truly dinna mind.”

Claire crossed and wrapped Mary in a hug surprising the other woman into briefly laughing before returning the embrace.

“Thank you,” Claire whispered. “Thank you for taking care of him.”

“Ye’re welcome, Mistress.”

Claire shook her head. “Claire. Please… call me Claire.”

“Ye’re welcome, Claire.”

Pulling back and wiping her own damp eyes, Claire rolled up the sleeves of her gown and moved to fetch the large kettle from where it was warming near the hearth, then brought it to the washtub where Mary was depositing the dirty dishes.

“Do you have an idea for what you will like to do once everything is settled? I don’t expect you’ll want to go back to Lallybroch.”

“My Rabbie’s settled in London now––with a wife. He’s asked me to come for a visit a few times now but I’ve no been in a position to do so before…” She looked to Claire conspiratorially casting her glance toward the light from the other room where the crisp sound of a page turning could occasionally be heard amongst the crackling of the fire in the hearth. “I’ve no told Jamie yet––the letter only came yesterday and I didna have a chance to go through it till this morning––but Rabbie writes they’re expectin’ a bairn.”

“Congratulations,” Claire whispered with sincere relief.

“Aye. Ye needna feel ye’re puttin’ me out. Like as not were ye here or no I’d be goin’ to London for a time anyhow. Now I dinna have to feel so torn about comin’ back or no.”


Jamie offered to sleep on the floor by Ian so the two women could have the comfort of a proper bed but Mary wouldn’t hear of it.

You ken better than anyone how easy I sleep in that chair,” Mary teased Jamie. “I enjoy the stories well enough but the sound of his voice sends me straight to sleep,” she explained to Claire. “He tried carryin’ me to bed once and put his back out and I scolded him enough he’s never tried it since.”

Claire pursed her lips as she took in the redness of Jamie’s face.

“Are you sure you don’t sleep better down here because you don’t have to listen to his snoring?” she asked, earning a glare from Jamie.

“I dinna snore so loud as you do, Sassenach.”

“Then I’ll sleep doubly well so far from both of yer snoring,” Mary said ushering the two of them to the stairs with a knowing grin that had Claire blushing alongside Jamie.

Nerves overcame Claire when she and Jamie were alone in the bedroom again. She crossed to where she saw Mary’s things and grabbed up the first things that her hands found.

“Mary will be needing these,” she stammered heading for the door again. “I’ll be right back.”

Mary already had a blanket spread in her lap and her feet propped up on a small footstool when Claire hesitantly approached.

“I thought you might want these,” Claire said, placing them on the floor beside Mary’s chair.

“He’s as nervous as you are,” Mary said quietly, her eyes still closed.

Claire rolled her eyes and slipped away again. Knowing Jamie was nervous too didn’t help quell the anxious fluttering in her stomach but it did steel her resolve.

A sole candle lit the room when Claire eased her way back in. Jamie’s clothes had been folded and set aside next to his boots and stockings. She could make out the shape of him sitting up in bed, waiting for her.

Reaching behind her, Claire took a deep breath that she let out as she pulled the zipper of her dress down to the base of her spine, the loose fabric slipping from her shoulders and baring her torso. The rest of the dress fell to the floor in a whisper of cotton a moment later. She swallowed as she stepped out of the dress, out of her shoes, and approached Jamie’s side of the bed in just her stockings.

“Jamie,” she breathed, extending one leg towards him in the dim, flickering light. “Will you help me with these?” There was nothing teasing or sultry in her voice, just a simple invitation to help them ease their way back into something that had once been accomplished with a look, a touch, a sigh.

Jamie shifted to the edge of the bed, his legs sliding free of the blankets. He took hold of Claire’s calf and gently raised her leg higher, resting her foot on one of his knees. His fingers skimmed their way up the silk stocking to find the garter holding it in place a few inches up her thigh and finding the gooseflesh his touch had raised when he overshot his mark.

The silk of her stocking was replaced by the light touch of his lips on her sensitive inner knee. Lowering one leg, she offered him the other and he did the same, resting his hand on her hip when he was done and guiding her closer to him till she stood between his knees. Her hands found their way into his hair, pulling his head back so he had to look her in the eye.

“Ye’re beautiful,” he whispered. “I’ve never wanted ye more than I do right now.”

She believed him and leaned into his kiss. He pulled her to him, easing back onto his elbows as she knelt above him on the bed before reaching between them and taking him into her. He closed his eyes for a moment, his head lolling back, then a smile lit his face.

“I thought when ye walked into the print shop ye must be a vision––one of my dreams escaped the night and found its way to me in the day,” he murmured as Claire slowly rocked her hips.

“Do you need me to pinch you to prove you’re not dreaming?” Claire offered. Her hand slid through the sparse hair on his chest as she reached for and found one of his nipples, gently squeezing between her thumb and forefinger and making his breath catch, his hands tighten on her waist.

“No, I ken ye’re no a dream,” he said, his hands applying pressure to her hips guiding her slowly forward and then back. “I could always tell when I took ye in a dream that there was something missing––I could feel my blood poundin’ wi’ yearning for ye but my chest felt empty. It’s full now, though; you are my heart restored to me. I am whole again.”

We are whole again,” Claire informed him before bending to kiss him once more and smiling against him as his need refused to be contained and he rolled with her so he could ride her hard and fast. They had all night and twenty years to make a start of remedying.

Dawning in Dust: Part VII

Prologue, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI

Claire gradually fell into a doze in the early hours of the morning, waking fully to her inner nurse’s clock that told her there was work to be done. Jamie, who had himself finally succumbed to the restorative sleep his body needed, blinked listlessly at her as she woke him to redress his bandages.

There’s the bloody fever, she thought dispassionately, confirming her theory with the thermometer someone had brought in with the fresh bandages.

102.3. Need to watch that…

Jamie withstood the second cleaning with as much fortitude as the first. They’d done this in relative silence, whatever connection formed the night before overshadowed by shyness. The runnels of wounds were stark against his ruddy skin, but appeared to be doing rather well at this stage. After a brief squeeze of his shoulder, Claire left Jamie with Ian and Murtagh, muttering brief instructions to keep the patient as immobile as could be managed while they helped him wash and change.

The day dawned, fog pearling its tendrils through the trees and outbuildings of the unexpected haven Claire found herself in. She breathed in the crisp air, relaxing as the rising sun warmed her face and cast shadows through the courtyard. Sounds of livestock and the faint, raspy morning voices of their caretakers reached her ears, making her smile. It felt good to be amongst so much life again, however brief the time would be.

“Claire?”

Claire startled a little, but smiled at Ian as he sat down on the stairs beside her, groaning a little as he stretched out his right leg in front of him.

“Sorry about that. Didna meet to startle ye.”

“It’s alright,” Claire replied sincerely. “I was off somewhere else for a bit.” Claire gazed around the courtyard. “It’s really very peaceful here.”

Ian smiled, nodding. “Aye, it is.”

“How’s the patient?”

Ian’s face transformed into an interesting combination of a smirk and a grimace.

“He’ll do.”

Claire nodded, taking mental inventory of how much lidocaine she had left in her medical bag.

“Was this always a working farm? I mean, before..”

“In a way. The Fraser family kept it up as a tourist spot. ‘Travel to the past.’ That sort of thing. It’s been this way for generations now. Earned the place extra money for upkeep and allowed the tenants work so they could stay. We’ve always been fairly secluded out here so it wasna the complete end of the world for us when the Last War ended and everything went to hell. Thank God,” he said, looking around. “Without everyone here, we’d have all been dead long since.”

“Hmm,” Claire answered, the slight pull of her heart at the thought taking her aback. She cleared her throat. “Was Jamie in the service long then? He told me he’d just come back when the War… ended.” Claire shook her head and sighed. ‘Ended’. More like dissolved. Destroyed.

Claire could see Ian give her a quick, appraising look before he answered.

“Aye,” he said, nodding gravely. “We both joined around the same time. What about you?” he asked, turning back suddenly.

Claire blinked, but then smiled. “How did you guess?”

“Yer pack is military issue,” Ian replied, kind brown eyes alight. “I’d recognize medical personnel anywhere.”

You bloody would, Claire thought with a small jolt as Ian pulled his right pant leg up. It was well crafted, but clearly becoming the worse for wear. The artificial leg, having once been coated with the perfect finish of Ian’s natural skin color, was faded in places and scuffed in others. The mechanics still appeared to work though, Claire noted, seeing the foot move as Ian shifted for her to see.

“Lost it in France going on five years ago now,” Ian said conversationally. “Honing shot. I was lucky, but didna feel so at the time.”

“Does it bother you at all?” Claire asked. Then, realizing she may have sounded rude, clarified, “Discomfiture, I mean.”

“No, though it aches a wee bit at the end of the day.” Ian rubbed the flesh above the binding meditatively. “Ye wouldn’t have had training in medical robotics would ye?”

Claire grimaced regretfully. “I’m sorry, no. Just plain flesh and bone for me.”

Ian smiled kindly, waving it off in a 'think nothing of it’ gesture.

“It’s alright. I’m lucky the program is so simple. We’ve electricity and a few of the tenants know some programming. No’ much difference between my leg and the bale stacker apparently,” he said self deprecatingly.

Claire couldn’t help but laugh with him.

“I take it you are of the same opinion as Jamie when it comes to pain control?” she asked, nodding at his knee.

Ian snorted but tilted his head in acquiescence.

“Have you tried water pepper?”

“No,” he replied, looking curious. “How do you use it?”

“I’ll make some for you to try,” Claire offered, liking him. “I’ll show you how before I leave.”

“Thank ye, that’s verra kind.”

They smiled at each other, then sat in companionable silence for a few more minutes. The sun was almost above the trees now. A horse whinnied in the distance. As if on cue, Ian stood.

“I’d best be getting back. Take care of Jamie, aye?”

“Of course.”

Ian gave her a smile and a short bow, then turned toward the stables. Claire watched him go, only now noticing that he walked with a slight limp. She stood up to go inside, resolving to convince Ian to let her examine his leg to see what could be done.

Perhaps the artificial leg itself needed new padding…

The house was dim inside compared to the brightness of the morning. The smell of a simple breakfast wafted through the hallway, causing Claire’s mouth to water. In the excitement of the past two days, she’d forgotten all else but what was immediately urgent. Her stomach rumbled, informing her of its own opinion on where priorities stood. First though, she needed to check on Jamie.

Claire was almost to the doorway of the study when she heard a loud THUMP followed by semi stifled groans and muffled curses. She ran the last six steps to the door and barely managed to sidestep Jamie as she flew into the room.

“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?” she gasped, dropping to the floor where Jamie apparently had fallen.

“I..”

“Oh be quiet, I need to take your pulse.”

Jamie exhaled shakily, clearly in no little pain. Ian or Murtagh must have opened the windows while they were there. The rare Scottish sun drifted through the room, lighting on Jamie’s hair and sending sparks of copper, auburn, and cinnamon through Claire’s vision. She was also seeing red, but for another reason.

“Congratulations, soldier, you’ve managed to reopen your back. I told you to stay put and rest and what do you do? Throw yourself off your cot and set yourself back again.”

“I didna throw myself off anything,” Jamie said through gritted teeth, with as much dignity as a large, injured Scot who has just fallen on his face could muster. Claire was so caught off guard by his tone of voice that she laughed. Jamie smiled weakly, his face pale but for the blush creeping up the back of his neck and into his face. Claire blew the stray wisps of curly hair out of her face.

“Alright. Let’s get you up.”

“Aye,” he grunted, placing his hands on the floor to push himself up.

Claire caught him under the arm, bracing him as he struggled to his feet like a newborn deer. The skin of his torso was hot and dry under her hands as she began to maneuver him toward the cot, taking care of his now partially bandaged back. Each movement Jamie made resulted in a slight grimace or a hiss of his breath. She noticed he was trying to take most of his own weight, despite how weak he obviously was.

Still fevered, then.

Someone had brought him a pair of dark blue sweatpants to replace his bloodied jeans. Claire turned him to face her, avoiding eye contact as she grasped his large, warm hands.

“Alright. Hang on to me and we’ll get you to the cot. Easy does it.”

She began shuffling backward, pulling Jamie gently with her, allowing him to try and do this under his own power. After three steps, he stumbled a bit. Claire’s heart lurched and, without thought or hesitation, she reacted.

She could feel his breath caress her ear, his cheek brushing her hair. His hands anchored at her waist as her own held him at his, the heat of his body causing her own pale skin to flush. Claire slowly raised her eyes, seeing the rapid pulse beat in his neck; his throat moving as he swallowed; his wide, soft mouth; blue eyes meeting hers.

“Sorry, a nighean,” Jamie whispered.

Claire licked her lower lip, breath catching as his eyes caught the movement. Her body felt like a tightened guitar string; as if the very air surrounding them vibrated with the tension of their connection. Claire swallowed, tightening her hold on him as she beckoned him to follow her again; a slow, awkward dance that only they shared, holding each other up.

Claire felt Jamie’s gaze as she helped him sit on the edge of the camp bed, then as she bustled about preparing to redress his back, trying to get a hold of her wits and pounding heart. Infatuation. This wasn’t the first time she’d experienced it. After all, she reasoned, Jamie was physically attractive. A fellow veteran. Obviously brave and intelligent. There were few things not to like in the little time she’d known him.

Except that damned stubbornness. Thinking he can walk about against orders, making me pick his sorry arse up off the…

“Why did ye not call for help?” Jamie asked quietly.

“What?” Claire startled, feeling like he had plucked her thoughts from her mind.

“When ye found me. Ye could have called for help. I would have gotten a tongue lashing into next Tuesday like it seems you want to give me right now but they would have gotten me off the floor. Ye didn’t. Why?”

Claire observed him, taking her time to formulate an answer. He sat straight and still, arms bracing his weight as his hands clutched the bed for support, eyes hesitant but direct. He was a tall man with broad shoulders, the lines of his body flowing smoothly from muscle to bone; an imposing figure to most despite his current circumstances. To Claire, though, he looked exhausted.

“You needed to help yourself,” she said simply. “That’s why you got up before you were supposed to. You needed to prove that you could do it. To yourself.”

His eyes bore into hers, simultaneously intense and gentle.

“Aye,” he responded softly.

“Who was I to take that from you?” she asked, trying to control the emotion in her voice. Without waiting for an answer, she turned her back on him again, continuing to prep bandages.

“Bloody hero,” she muttered.

Escape:  the medical school years

She sat on the couch, wrapped in the Fraser plaid blanket that Jenny had given her for Christmas.  

She had spent the night shaking in reaction, and finally drifted off to sleep sometime in the early morning hours.  Her restless mind hadn’t let her sleep long though, and she’d been awake with the sun. 

Hours later she was holding the ivory handled brush, absently running it over her chin.  The bristles were still soft, and smelled of shaving lotion.  Uncle Lamb. Dear, sweet Uncle Lamb.  When they were on a dig in India he was given an elephant tusk.  Secretly horrified that a magnificent, regal animal had died for this, he decided to honour it by having the ivory made into many useful things, one of which was a shaving brush.  She had found it among his belongings after he’d died.  Out of all his effects, this one brought her to tears. So many memories of him on site shaving in rough conditions, flooded her mind.  Later, it sat on his vanity during his years as a professor.  Giving it to Jamie was only natural.  

Jamie

He would be so angry with her.  Angry, and disappointed.  

The tears welled up in her eyes.  How would she explain?  It was so clear now.  A driver.  Alec.  He taken steps to protect her before she would even admit there was danger.  He’d known.  Secrets.  But not lies.

Caught up in her thoughts, it took a minute for her to realize the door opened. 

Jamie.

He tossed his key in the general direction of the table by the door, eyes on her. Her first thought was how tired he looked.  His cinnamon and copper hair was disheveled, his handsome face covered in day old stubble.  She saw Alec discreetly place the suitcase just inside the door, then close it behind him.  

She was on her feet, and flying across the hardwood.  

Two paces away she noticed the blood from his neck that had soaked into the collar of his dress shirt, and stopped dead in her tracks.  

“Jamie!” she said, “You’re hurt!”

Without a word he closed the distance between them, and sliding his hands into her hair, kissed her.  His mouth hugged her bottom lip.  Nothing more, just a press of his soft lips on hers.  He breathed in deeply, inhaling her scent. Claire. He lifted his mouth only to kiss her again, feeling her hands cup his jaw, her thumb caress his chin.  He tasted the salt of her tears, and felt the shake of her limbs.  Mo graidh.

“Jamie,” she breathed, pulling her mouth from his, “let me see.”  She turned back his collar to see an ugly wound, the flesh cut deeply, skin hanging.  His hands slid down to cup her shoulders and rub them softly. 

“Hurts like the devil, Sassenach.”

“It needs stitches.”  She looked up at him.  “I’ll need to clean it properly.  How did it happen?”

Without taking his eyes from hers, he pulled the sgian-dubh from his coat pocket.  She gasped.  Claire shot a quick glance at the bookcase across the room where the dirk should have been, her eyes widening when she realized it was gone.  She’d never noticed.  “Where did you get it?”

“Horrocks.”

He watched the emotions play across her glass face. Surprise.  Confusion. Realization.  Anger.  Shame.  

“Jamie, I-,” 

“Shhh, Sassenach.  It’s fine.”  He offered her an exhausted smile.  “Can ye get yer wee kit and fix me up?” 

Claire unwound the plaid from around her shoulders, and laid it on the back of the sofa.  As she walked away, Jamie fingered the cloth thoughtfully.


He couldn’t take his eyes off of her.  Looking at Claire, feasting his eyes on her, helped him manage the pain as the needle pierced his skin.  She’d only had a light topical ointment on hand to numb the area.  Watching her face while she worked took him back in time to when he first set eyes on her.  She was then as she was now, with her brow furrowed in concentration, lips pursed, luminescent English skin showing the smattering of freckles across her nose. He watched the sun play through the tendrils of hair that brushed her neck and cheekbones.  He’d fallen for her so easily.  He was still falling, if he was honest. 

Images were swirling in Jamie’s head.  His jaw tensed.  He was so very angry with himself.  To not be here.  To not stop him.

She clipped off the last suture.  “You’ll have a scar.  A triangular scar,” she informed him.  Only then did her hand start to shake.  “God, Jamie,” she whispered, eyes filling with tears, “just an inch to the left and you would have hit-“

“Shhh, Sassenach.  We’ll no’ borrow trouble, aye?”  He slipped his hands over her hips, and under her shirt to rest on the small of her back.

She swallowed, looked him in the eye, and nodded.  “I need to bandage it.” She stepped away to wash her hands quickly at the kitchen sink, and then dug through her bag for a sterile gauze.  Gently, she applied the stark white cloth to her husband’s throat.  She could barely see for the tears clinging to her lashes. She turned her head to blink them away.  The idea of Jamie, or anyone being hurt because of her lack of judgement was too much. 

She felt his hand on her face, turning her towards him.  Eyes closed, she felt his thumbs brush the drops away.  

“I’m so sorry,” she breathed, so softly he might not have heard.  

His forehead came to rest on hers.  Leaning into him their breath mingled. Hers hitched as she tried not to sob outright.  His came in long calming breaths as if trying to stay in control.  

“Claire.”  She glanced up at him under lowered lids.  “Look at me, mo neighean donn.”  Swallowing hard, she met his gaze.  

“When we wed, we became one.  You have my name,” he gestured to the plaid draped over the sofa, “My clan.  My family.”  He used a finger to lift her chin higher, “and if necessary, the protection of my body, as well.”  

The dam broke.  

Sobs racked Claire such as he hadn’t seen since that day he found her feverish and exhausted on the stairs between their apartments.  He gathered her in and held her head against his shoulder, rocking her gently while the tension of the week came pouring out of her.  Her long fingers clutched at his shoulders, and naked chest trying to gain purchase, to hold on to something, anything.  

Jamie’s body was responding to its own tension.  Jet lag, adrenaline crash from his fight with Horrocks, and the pain from his wound were all taking its toll on him now.  He needed to sleep.  

“Claire.”  He pressed a kiss to her temple.  “Sassenach.”

She lifted her head, a soft hiccup escaping her as she tried to stop crying.

“Lie wi’ me?”

She nodded.  Grabbing the blanket from the sofa, she took her husband’s hand and walked with him to their bed.


“It was Murtagh.”

“Hmmm?” Claire mumbled, legs tangled with Jamie’s, her head next to his on the pillow.  

They had crawled into bed under twisted, and tortured sheets from Claire’s restless night.  They tussled a bit as Jamie tried to get Claire to shed some clothing layers, teasing her once again about how she wore too much to bed. Then finally, they curled together with the heavy duvet thrown over both of them.  The shared warmth soon lulled them to sleep.  

“Alec, I expected, of course,” Jamie said.  “I wasna so surprised to see Willie.  I thought he just had some papers for me to sign.  Business, ye ken.”  
Claire slowly came awake listening to the low rumble of Jamie’s voice. 

Understanding dawned.

“But when I saw Murtagh, weel, my knees buckled a bit.  I knew.  He’s the closest thing I have to a father.  And I remember thinkin’, why is a man who hates crowds, hates noise, at an airport?”  Jamie paused, and she felt his arm tighten around her waist.  “I never want to feel that kind of fear again.  Never.”

Claire moved then.  She rolled toward her husband at the same time his hand slid down to cup her bottom and lift her towards him.  She sprawled herself on him, finding his mouth and kissing him deeply.  She gripped his hair, turned his head to the angle she wanted and fused her mouth to his.  

She was wild, and a little rough.  He liked it.

Even when the stitches pulled a little, and made him hiss in his breath, Jamie let her take control.  He let her grab his hands and place them on her breasts, let her show him what she wanted.  

He understood.  

She was exorcising her own fears.  Fighting her own demons.  They would come together on her terms.  She would take her pleasure the way she wanted.  She would erase the memories of what that bastard tried to offer, and may have taken had Alec not been there.  If this was what Claire needed from him, then he would give it.  He left himself at her mercy.  It wasn’t easy.  He and Claire shared the same passions in bed.  They danced this dance a hundred times, giving and taking in equal measure.  Yet in this moment he understood instinctively that he needed to surrender himself to her control.  

When he tried to kiss her, she dodged him.  If he moved his hand somewhere else, she slapped at it until he put it back.  She nipped at his lips, scraped her teeth across his hip bone, and bit his thigh.  

It was the sweetest torture.  There was pleasure in the pain.    

She made him ask permission for everything.  To be kissed, to be touched.    

Permission to enter her body.

As their cries echoed around the bedroom, and she collapsed onto his chest, Jamie held his wife and tenderly stroked her back.  He felt the dampness on his skin from her tears.  His heart broke just a little.  “Shh, mo graidh, shh,” he whispered.  “He’s gone, Claire.  Gone for good.”

She stretched her neck to kiss the hollow of his throat, and saw the small red stain on the gauze.

“Did I hurt you?” she asked, caressing his jaw with the backs of her fingers.  

“Aye.  A bit.”  He brushed the damp curls away from her temple.  

“You should have told me to stop.”

“Nah,” Jamie said, giving her that lopsided smile she loved so much, “I was completely under yer power and happy to be there.”

I have a family and they love me

Supernatural episode 12x16 gave us the return of Claire. I love her character a lot, so I was really happy to have her back. However, what I liked the most about the episode and about the fact that Claire was part of it was that she was a clear Castiel parallel. Let me briefly explain you why I think Claire was an obvious parallel for Cas.

The monster of the week in this episode simply wanted a “family”. He said that a werewolf needed his pack; that’s why he bit Hayden and Claire. Of course, he wasn’t truly giving them a chance to choose for themselves. He never asked Claire if she wanted to be part of his pack, and she wasn’t interested. No matter how much of an outsider Claire said she felt with Jody and Alex, she knew they were her family and was sure they love her.

This particular part of the conversation between Justin (the werewolf) and Claire is what caught my attention:

JUSTIN: As soon as I saw you I knew you’re just like me… alone.

CLAIRE: Wrong! I have a family and they love me.

Does this remind anyone of Cas’ current situation? Or was it just me? He’s in Heaven right now. The angels are trying to make Cas one of their own again. There’s a big chance they won’t give him much choice. However, we know that no matter how depressed and useless Cas felt last season, if he’s learned something in season 12 is that he has a family, the Winchesters, and that they love him just as much as he loves them.

Nothing the werewolf said could convince Claire to voluntarily give in and accept to be part of his pack. Similarly, nothing the angels say will convince Cas that he belongs in Heaven. Claire was already a werewolf when she rejected Justin; she remembered she had Jody and Alex, her real family. Cas is an angel, of course, but he will also remember he has Dean and Sam, his real family, which at this point has clearly been established.

In conclusion, people who are still upset about Cas being in Heaven need to chill. This episode confirmed what we already know… Cas belongs with his human family.

The only thing is that I wonder if the end of the episode is also telling us what might happen with Cas later on. “This is something I have to do on my own”, Claire said when she called Jody. She knew where her family was, but she decided to leave. She refused to be part of a werewolf pack, and she was turned back into a human. Could this be foreshadowing for Cas? What if he ends up being human, too? AND… what if he decided to leave Dean and Sam (just as Mary did in 12x03) because ‘it’s something he has to do on his own’?

I’ll just leave this speculation here and run away. 

ETA: If my speculation came to pass, don’t freak out. Take a deep breath and read this. ;) 

External Forces: Part 2.

internallydeceased asked:
First of all, I love you all so much you’re amazing at what you do and inspire me so much. Thank you for this blog I have not lived before this. I’m not sure if this has been done before or not, but what if Claire found out she was pregnant before she fully realized her feelings for Jamie?

Find Part One; HERE.


PART 2:


Silence engulfed the party as they rode, solemnly, away from Fort William.

Jamie was angry, his stern jerks of Donas jolting Claire this way and that as they rode hard and fast across the vast Scottish countryside.

Claire, lost in the mire of her dark thoughts, couldn’t help but worry.

Had she hit the table too hard?

Had Randall forced her womb too ungraciously into the unyielding wood as he’d stripped her in his office?

Nothing seemed amiss yet…and she couldn’t feel any blood…but only time would tell.

“Water him for me, would ye?” Jamie’s voice echoed in her ear as he pulled her from the horse and led her away from the party.

She went, compelled to do so by his touch alone. But she wasn’t present. Her mind kept throwing up images from that dark room: the way her bodice had been torn from her, her breasts bared to *him* as she had been in the glade.

She could see Jamie’s mouth moving, could see the intense flare of passion rise behind his irises, but she couldn’t bring herself to focus on the words.

Instead she simply stood, listened and nodded where she felt it was needed.

Unbeknownst to Jamie, Claire failed to hear any of his warnings, or any of his ire.

“Claire….CLAIRE!” he yelled, when she’d obviously failed to give him the correct answer.

“Do ye ken what it is, what’s just happened? I…there…weel,” he choked, emotion battling with fact as he tried to spill out the words he so desperately wanted her to hear. “Do ye ken what it is to open a window and see that man, a man that laid my back open, wi’ his filthy hands over yer naked body? Do ye, Claire?”

Startled, Claire nodded, her mouth bone dry as she tried to hold herself in the present.

*How did this happen?* she questioned internally, her hands staying clenched by her sides –though fighting not to cocoon her flat abdomen as if shielding the precious cargo that lay beneath.

Disturbed by her lack of coherence, Jamie huffed; giving up on his rant, he took her by the arm and led her back to the party, eager to be away from this place.

Murtagh quirked a brow at his godson as he watched them meander back, his gaze lingering on Claire a little too long as she leaned into Jamie, solely guided by the tilt of his hand at her waist.

The rest of the ride back to the inn Dougal was currently waiting in wasn’t much more animate. The men began to joke and jest amongst themselves, but it was clear to them all that Claire wasn’t in her right mind. Both Angus and Rupert were still less than impressed with having to rescue her –though, admittedly, they had both quite enjoyed the thrill of striking some of the red coats.

Murtagh and Jamie both kept silent on the matter, neither willing to debate it with the others in tow.

Upon reaching the taphouse, Claire said nothing. She simply dismounted of her own accord, hitched up her skirts and pulled her cape around her shoulders. Head down, she made her way inside, and proceeded to climb the stairs, assuming she could curl up on one of the beds and ignore the rowdy drunks below.

As it happened –luckily– Dougal had procured them a room. He watched, eyes trained on her hunched back, as she ghosted out of sight.

“Ye need to teach that one a little about discretion, Jamie lad,” he sneered, swilling the cheap whisky around the large tumbler.

“Aye, he’s right,” Ned piped up, looking apologetically at Jamie over his glasses as he turned to face the returned men. “She needs to ken the consequences o’ her actions. Wandering off here isna to be done lightly.”

Murtagh nodded, clouting Angus around the back of the head as the small Scotsman jibed with Rupert about their Fort William antics. “She needs to ken what she almost cost us,” he said, a gruff note to his voice as he glanced sideways at Rupert and Angus, warning them to heed a similar warning.

Sighing, Jamie nodded, his gaze immediately following the steps Claire had taken only moments before.

He could still hear the groan of the floorboards as she readied herself for bed, the dim reverberation of her movements rattling through the half-empty tavern below.

-

Crawling under the covers, Claire pulled the duvet up and over her head, trying to shield herself from the world. All of those years with Frank …and nothing; yet with Jamie, he’d managed to do in one short night what her and Frank had failed to do over a number of years.

“Sassenach…” came a quiet voice, the door creaking open as Jamie tentatively crept into the small room, “we have something more to discuss, you and I…”

He seemed nervous, on edge to the point that his words were not as confident as they had been earlier.

Claire’s heart thudded in her chest as she pushed back the quilt, tucking it around her middle as she wiped the sleep from her eyes, fully conscious again now she’d warmed up a bit.

Taking off his belt with measured precision, Claire started to grasp his meaning, her eyes growing wide at the sight of him disrobing in such a way.

“J-Jamie…?” she queried, her voice cracking on the word as she glanced between the belt as he ran it through his fingers and slapped the leather together in preparation, and his eyes, focused directly on her.

“Claire, now, lass…dinna gi’ me that look. Ye’ve done wrong by all the men, led us into the clutches of Randall and his merciless dragoons. Ye ken,” he paused, taking one small step towards her as she rose and scuttled back on the double bed until her feet hung over the edge, ready to bolt if needed. “If it had just been me, I wouldna have said anymore about it. But it wasna. And ye must suffer for it.”

“No!” she squeaked, the high pitch sound hurting her ears as she moved to the side, trying to dodge Jamie’s sly movements.

“Now, Claire,” he pleaded, blatantly put off by the idea of having to do such a thing to her, but needing to follow through on his promise to the men below, “dinna argue wi’ me. Just get down on the bed and lift yer shift.”

Shaking her head fiercely, Claire pushed herself back against the headboard, her fingers splaying against the cold wood as she breathed through the panic that was rising in her throat.

Twice in as many hours she’d nearly been brutally raped; she’d been tied and accosted, ridden half across Scotland and she was tired, incredibly tired. Truly, she didn’t have it in her to fight, but a small fluttering beat from her womb urged her onwards.

Swallowing back the bile that was working its way out of her stomach and along her esophagus, Claire steadied herself. Clenching her jaw tight, she held eye contact with Jamie, hers swimming in unshed tears, as she let her right hand hover gently over her belly, fingertips tapping out a gentle pattern against her shift-covered skin.

“No, Jamie, you can’t…please…” she begged, making one final attempt to make him see sense –or at least see something from her perspective.

“Nay, Claire. Ye canna persuade me from this duty, whatever it takes…I will ha’ to show ye the lash. Dinna make it hard on me, aye?”

“H-hard…on you?” she shot back, her eyes hardening as she hunched her shoulders - ready for battle. “I t-think I’m pregnant…” she blurted out, her whole body shaking with fear and rage as adrenaline coursed through her at an alarming rate. “You can’t beat me…because I’m carrying your child.”

Below, Dougal, Murtagh, Ned, Angus and Rupert all stared at the ceiling as, in one loud clatter, they all simultaneously heard Jamie’s belt hit the floor, the tinkling ring of the buckle slapping together as it hit the deck. The wind whistled through the place, the thin beams rattling as the men all rolled their eyes and returned to their conversation.

“Seems she’s tamed him,” Dougal muttered, taking a final swig of whisky before slamming it down on the table and taking himself off to bed. “As soft as his mother, that one.”

Murtagh shook his head. Turning to Ned, he spoke lowly, trying to avoid being overheard. “Though I dinna disagree, I doubt she’d ha’ turned him so easily. The lass must have a good enough reason,” he murmured, tapping his boots restlessly against the straw covered floor as a dim yellow hint of dawn began to filter into the small tap room.

“Aye, Murtagh,” Ned agreed, his face calm and stoic. “I think ye might be right.”

Lost in Time

Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Long awaited, I know. Hope you enjoy the rest of the story! Also I just want to clarify the war Claire remembers in this chapter. It is a continuation of WW2, sort of. In this story, a war begins again after the twins are born and the war uses nuclear power.


“Where do you think she came from?”

 “I have no idea, mo nighean ruadh.”

There was a long sigh before the voice began again.

 “Her clothes are a bit…queer and she looked at Willie so strangely, like she had seen him before. It gave me a chill.”

There was a creek of the floor as someone moved to the other side of the room.

 “And you’re sure ye have never seen her, perhaps at the castle when ye were a wee one?”

 “No, Brian. I am sure. Lord knows where she came from, but she’s been through a lot, poor thing. We should look after her for now.”

 “She’s English, leannain. Are you sure?”

 “Yes, darling. Quite.”

The voices drifted in and out of Claire’s ear like distant waves in the ocean. She could hear them, but could barley distinguish them from the roaring in her mind.

Time went by slowly in her mind. She fought to grasp anything in the dark oblivion she was stuck in, groping for something familiar. A flash of red danced behind her eyes and suddenly she remembered.

“Brian!”

She sat up with a gasp in the large bed, hands flung out on either side of her. She had seen her son!

“You’ll be knowin’ my husband, then?” 

She jumped again when she heard the voice in the far left corner of the room and suddenly the dread that had made her so sick in the first place came back. It hadn’t been her Brian playing in his rightful home and it wasn’t Jamie sitting near her. It was Ellen Fraser currently sitting in the room, staring at her.

Ellen

Jamie’s beloved mother. Jamie’s mother who would die before she turned grey. One of the women she had named her daughter after. Another pain stabbed at her heart as she thought of her other lost baby. 

Ellena

In any other circumstance, Claire would have been awed and amazed at the chance to meet the famous Ellen. But seeing her meant that she hadn’t traveled to the right time. Seeing her meant that her children were lost, just like her husband. Jamie.

 “I…no,” she stuttered out, racking her brain for an explanation. The aching pain from the crushing despair of not being with Jamie and her children made her voice rough and starchy with undeniable emotion in it.

Sweat formed all over Claire’s body and her heart pounded hard against her chest. She tried to take a few calming breaths to stop the panic.

Ellen’s head cocked to the side as she watched Claire fumble in bed, wringing the sheets between her hands and Claire suddenly felt that if she lied, Ellen would see right through her. So, she simply decided to tell the truth…with a few slight tweaks. 

“I thought that your son was mine. His name is Brian and he looks a great deal like your own boy.”

Named after your husband, she said silently in her head. She thought it best not to mention it. Claire didn’t think Jamie’s parents would accuse her of being a witch, but she wasn’t about to take that risk.

“Have ye lost your son, then?” Ellen’s brows drew together in concern and empathy as though she tried to imagine what it would be like to lose her own son. “Is that why ye are here?” 

Claire’s heart clenched at the though that she would know that pain all too soon, but was she to warn her? What would happen if she did share her knowledge of her fate and the fate of Willie, who would die of small pox in but a few years? Would she still have met Jamie? Would her children survive?

Clenching her eyes shut to block out Ellen’s face, she simply nodded. “Yes, my son and my daughter. I’ve…I lost them both.” The pain once more rippling across her body like a lash from a whip as she spoke.

Suddenly, she was surrounded by warmth, the smell of fire and red hair. Ellen threw her arms around her and rocked her back and forth like a child. The emotions of the past few days –hell the past few years – caught up with her and the soft touch of a mother caused her to fall apart into Ellen’s warm arms.

“Shush, lass,” she whispered in her ear while brushing her hair away from her forehead. “Be still.”

The feeling of her red hair and the sound of comforting Gaelic evoked a memory of a young man holding Claire on his lap while she fell apart after she fell through time. The man she had so desperately fought for and failed to find.

The image of his face that flashed before her eyes made her sobs come harder. The face she had seen in her –their– children so often.

She remembered the time when she allowed herself to fully see it in her mind for the first time since their separation years ago. 


With Japan and the United States going head to head in combat, the next thing that needs to be discussed is where the next atom bombs will be dropped…”

Frank sighed and punched the wall next to the radio in rage. Claire carefully reached out and turned the radio off before they both went mad. 

“I thought these bloody wars had ended! Haven’t they taken enough of our lives! FUCK!” 

Frank slammed the mantle with his fist, causing the photos of their family to wobble and shake. 

“Please, you’ll wake the twins!” She spoke in a hushed yell, glancing up at the stairwell to make sure they hadn’t woken. 

Frank’s hand immediately oozed with blood and his shoulders shook from repressed sobs.

Claire quietly walked over and laid a hand on his back lightly, feeling all the panic and despair she felt at the new war. The war to end all wars. 

“They say that the next bombs will be dropped in the northeast,” his voice was raw and his fingers curled around the wood of the mantle. “It’s only a matter of time. We need to leave. Take the twins and go.”

A tear fell down her face as she thought of leaving their home. The home that just finally felt a little like home. “There isn’t anywhere safe, Frank. The war will follow us wherever we go.” 

“But Canada is one of the only places that hasn’t been bombed yet, we could–”

“No,” she cut him off softly. He turned around to face her, face red and eyes glistening. She felt a pain in her heart that she couldn’t comfort him more, couldn’t be a wife to him, but that ship had sailed a long while ago. The only thing they could do now was be a comfort to each other. 

“Canada will be involved as soon as next week. No one can sit this war out, not with atom bombs flying around.”

Frank reached out and grabbed onto her tightly, wrapping his arms around her middle so tight that she fought for breathe. She tentatively returned the embrace, remembering a time when that kind of enthusiasm from him would have made her giddy. 

“I just…wanted better for them,” she couldn’t see his face but knew he was looking up at the stairs. “To not live in a time of such destruction.”

“I know,” she sighed, thinking of her children sleeping safe in their beds, as safe as they could be. Bomb sirens had been going off every day since last week, but nothing had come to the Boston area yet.

“Claire…there is one place safe,” Frank stepped back and looked down at his fingers, twisting his wedding band around, unable to look at her.

“Where could that…oh,” she blinked in shock at the suggestion. 

The past. The stones. 

She shook her head and went over to the window to gaze out at the dark street and pressed her forehead against the cool glass. 

It was four years ago that she had fled the past because of its danger and the fall out from another war. Always another fucking war. Jamie had begged her to see their child safe, but now the past seemed like a fairytale compared to the hell the world was in now.

For the first time since she had left, Claire allowed herself to see Jamie in her mind. The mop of messy red hair, his lake-blue eyes, so tender as they looked at her. And for one brief, shining moment, she thought of her children meeting their real father. 

But that couldn’t happen. He was dead. 

A spasm of grief rushed through her and she shook her head hard and turned toward the stairs without a glance to Frank.

“No. I won’t take them there and I won’t discuss this again. Goodnight, Frank.”

She climbed the stairs as fast as she could, leaving the image of the stones and the highlands downstairs and in the past where they would always belong.

Instead, she crept into the room where her children were sleeping, blissfully unaware of the danger that was around them. 

Brian slept on his back with his hands on his stomach and Ellena was on her side with both hands under her cheek. 

Carefully, she reached out and placed a hand on Brian’s cheek, tracing his full cheek and pushing the memory of the man he looked so much like aside. 

She walked over a few feet to her daughter’s bed to kiss her cheek and then walked to the door, gazing back at their still forms, cast in the nightlight. 

“I promise I’ll keep you both safe. No matter what happens.”

The thought that she broke her promise made her cry even harder, hiccuping with the effort. She had failed her children. Ellen smoothed a hand down Claire’s hair and made a hushing sound.

“I dinna ken who ye are or why ye are here,” she said while still keeping a close hold on her. “But I will help ye find your own bairns in the best way I can.” 

Her voice was warm like cinnamon and honey and her was skin soft like cotton and it was the first time Claire had felt safe in a long while.

Quiet As A Mouse

A/N: Warning; crude langue. But, its a Shameless imagine staring Mickey, so….

*Eight years ago*

An eight year old Mickey Milkovich ran from the sound of sirens and police calling after him. He didn’t realize he had left the familiar area until he got the chance to stop and breath.

“Where the fuck am I?” he muttered to himself.

“Compass street.”

“Fuck!” he jumped and looked up to see a girl his age sitting ontop of the wall he had stopped to lean on. “Don’t do that!”

“You’re not from around here are ya?” she cocked her head.

“Mind your own fuckin’ business.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” she jumped down, landing on her feet in front of him. Getting a closer look at her, he could see her stick straight blonde hair and green eyes. He could also see her clothes; the nice blouse and jeans looking far fancier than his clothes. Crap, he must be on the north side.

Despite the obvious differences between them, the girl held out her hand. “Claire Francis.”

Mickey raised an eyebrow at her. Either this girl was too stupid to know he was south side trash, or she just didn’t care. The money he just stole was on the fist one.

Still, he had lost the cops, so he decided to humor her and shook her hand. “Mickey Milkovich.”

“Like Mickey Mouse?”

Mickey grimaced and yanked his hand away. “Don’t ever call me that.”

“Okay. I’ll just call you Mouse.”

******

*Seven years ago*

Mickey wasn’t sure how the rich girl had become glued to his side, but she had.

Once you put aside the fact that she was from the north side, she wasn’t actually all that bad. She wasn’t snobby like other rich folk and she didn’t seem to mind getting into trouble with Mickey all the time.

She still called him ‘Mouse’, but he made up for it by calling her ‘Bear.’ Well, it had started as ‘Claire-bear’, but when she made the same face he had at being called Mickey Mouse, he saw an opening and ran with it.

Claire was over at his house so much she practically lived there. She got along pretty well with his siblings – his bothers liked to baby her and Mandy liked to steal her away from him, delighting in having another girl to spend time with.

But there was one common question on every Milkovich’s mind: Why the fuck would someone as well off as Claire Francis want to spend every waking moment at their house with people like them?

They only asked her about a million times. Each. No matter which sibling had posed the question, the answer was always the same:

“I like it here. You and your family make me feel safe.”

******

*Six years ago*

“Hey siblings, look at my wad a cash!” Jamie exclaimed as he waltzed into the living room. “Admire the wad.”

“Whoa, where the fuck you get that?” Iggy asked, trying to reach for it but it was held out of his reach.

“Probably whored himself out.” Mickey joked.

“Like anybody would fuck Jamie.”

All the boy’s eyes snapped to her, stunned.

“You guys heard that right?” Iggy asked.

“You bet your fuckin’ ass I did, our little Claire just swore!”

“I’m so proud of you Bear!” Mickey made a show of dramatically throwing his arms around her.

“Mouse, get off’a me!” she shoved him into the other side of the couch.

******

*Five years ago*

Claire Francis might as well have been Claire Milkovich at this point. Word had gotten around that Mickey had a best friend who did everything with him. Word had also gotten around that she was under the same promise as the rest of the Milkovich siblings: you mess with one, the rest are coming after you.

One could argue that Mickey and his family were a bad influence on Claire, but she was just as up for robbing convenience stores and punching douche bags as the rest of them.

Not to say that she wasn’t rubbing off on them as well. The house was in much better order, they didn’t go out to bust skulls for the sake of busting skulls – much – and there always seemed to be a stock of Claire’s favorite snacks in the kitchen.

As her best friend, Mickey had developed a soft spot for her – not that he’d ever admit that. But he was nicer with her, smiling instead of cursing and yelling.

Which was why, when she had come into his room and flopped down on his bed, clearly upset, he didn’t instantly ask who he needed to kill.

“What’s the matter, Bear?” he said instead.

“…I dunno where my dad is….”

******

*Four years ago*

To say that Claire’s family was a touchy subject was an understatement.

She didn’t like talking about them. Period. Every time any of them tried to ask, they’d get yelled at. Over the years, the Milkovichs had just stopped bringing it up all together.

“Ugh, I hate science.” Claire dropped her head onto her textbook.

“Then quit studying.” Mickey shrugged, spinning in his desk chair.

“What part of ‘big test worth 20% of our grade’ do you not understand?” she raised her head to look at him.

“The 20% part.” He said sarcastically. “You know I fucking stink at math.”

She snickered. “Well I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful life as a pimp, but not many people take girl criminals seriously.”

“Then I’ll bash their heads in.” Mickey said simply.

“Why is that your answer to everything?”

******

*Three years ago*

About an hour after Mickey had left Kash and Grab without paying – again – the door opened once more to a young blonde girl counting out a large wad of cash.

“Here ya go.” she plopped it on the counter, drawing the attention of Kash and Ian, who had just started working there last month.

“What’s this for?” Kash frowned.

“”Mickey. He’s been goin’ a little nuts her lately, and the last thing I need is for him to land his ass in juvy again.” she shrugged. “Plus, I got money, might as well spend it on my best friend. Though to be fair, either of you –” she looked between Kash and Ian. “Tell him about this, I will come after you with a crowbar.” she smiled as though she hadn’t just threatened them. “Well I’ve done my civic duty. Good day to you both.”

******

*Two years ago*

Claire continued to pay for what Mickey took from the store without his knowledge. It wasn’t like it was a bother; money was something she had plenty of. But Mickey and his family had no interest in ‘charity.’ Which is why they didn’t know.

Ian got used to seeing her in the store. She was nice, he couldn’t for the life of him figure out why she cared about Mickey Milkovich so much. It took a while before he actually talked to her, but his curiosity eventually got to him.

“How come you always pay for what Mickey takes anyway?” He asked one night when she’d come just before he got off work. He’d run run after her walking down the cold street next to her, not sure where they were going. “What’s he ever done for you?”

“Gallagher right?” he nodded. “Your family’s got it tough, but you all care about each other yeah?”

“Course.”

That’s what he’s done for me.”

******

*One year ago*

Claire practically lived at the Milkovich house. Practically being the operative word. She still had to go home every night, though she was always reluctant to do so.

But she had to, so she did.

“Hey, Claire gone?” Jamie asked.

“Yup.” Mickey flopped on the couch. “Just got back from walkin’ her home. You know I’ve never actually seen the inside of her house.”

“You met her parents?”

“With how much she hates talkin’ about ‘em? What the fuck do you think?”

Jamie chuckled and shook his head. “Man, I hope we ain’t screwin’ that girl up.” he took a sip from his beer.

“What do you mean?” Mickey frowned.

“Well you brought home this sweet and innocent north side girl, and now look at her.”

“She’s tough. What’s wrong with that?”

Jamie only laughed, gulping his beer.

Mickey’s temper flared and he stood up. “Answer me, what the fucks wrong with that?”

“The fact that the next time you land yourself in juvy, she’s gonna be in the cell next to you, that’s what the fucks wrong with that.”

“Then she’ll have me to make sure no douche bags go after her, won’t she?” Mickey exclaimed. “Don’t say stuff like that man! She’s fuckin’ family!”

*******

*Now*

“We’re back!” Mickey called as he threw open the front door to his home.

“Hey Mick.” his brother Iggy waved, busy lighting a cigarette.

“Hey, uh Claire’s here.” he nodded at the blonde teenager who had come in behind him.

“When is she not here?” Iggy shrugged.

“He’s got a point.” Claire nodded. “I’m thirsty. Ya got any beer?” she walked into the kitchen, only to jump back when Mandy came flying through the back door in tears. She ran past her family up the stairs to her room, slamming the door shut behind her.

Everyone’s eye followed after, until the boys turned their’s to Claire.

Getting the message quickly, she huffed. “You guys are pathetic.” she pushed past them and followed Mandy up to her room. “Mans?” she knocked on the door. “I’m commin’ in.”

Mandy was crying into her pillow when Claire shut the door behind her. She came to sit next to her on the bed and rubbed at her back.

“You wanna tell me what happened?”

“Ian Gallagher is what happened!” she suddenly shot up, making Claire jump back.

“What did Ian Gallagher do?”

“I was tryin’ to be nice, I was over at his house –” Mandy threw herself at Claire, her arms hitting her stomach. Claire hissed and Mandy jumped back. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Claire said quickly.

“Claire, are you hurt?” Mandy pulled up her shirt slightly to reveal a pattern of bruises across the skin. “Who the fuck did that?!”

“F-forget that, we need to figure out this Ian thing.”

“Forget that, we need to figure out this Claire thing.”

She gave a laugh that sounded forced even to her. “Mans, there’s no Claire thing, I’m the same Claire I’ve always been.”

“The Claire you’ve always been would know to come to us if someone was hurting you!” she exclaimed. “In fact –” she stood and ran for the door.

“Mandy!” Claire exclaimed, running after her.

The living room was already irrupting in screams by the time she made it down there. Claire couldn’t make out who was saying what, but the room felt smaller than usual.

“All of you shut the fuck up!” she finally exploded. “I can’t understand you when you all talk at once!”

“Bear, what the fuck is Mandy talking about?” Mickey demanded.

Claire swallowed. “That depends. What she say?”

“She came down here yellin’ that someone’s been hurtin’ you. But you’d tell us if that was true, right?” Silence. “Right?!

“Mouse, not everybody gets to punch away their problems, okay?”

“Bear –”

“I gotta go…”

Mickey ran out after her onto the cold street, not even noticing that his coat was still inside.

“Bear!”

“Lemme go!”

“No!” he ran up to her and caught her arm. He saw her wince and was quick to push up her sleeve. Several bruises of varying color were scattered up and down her arm. One looked suspiciously like a hand print. “So its true….” Claire pulled her arm away and pulled her sleeve back down. “Fuck…”

“Its fine…” she said softly.

“No its fuckin’ not Claire!” Mickey exclaimed. “Why the fuck would you not tell me about this?”

“Because there’s nothing you can do!”

“I can bash the bastard’s fuckin’ brains out!”

“No you can’t!”

“Why the hell not?!”

“Because those bastards are my parents!”

Well that certainly shut him up.

Claire chocked on a sob and plopped down on the curb outside the Milkovich house. Still in shock, Mickey sat down next to her.

“….You wanna know why I’m over here all the time?” she said once she found the air to speak. “Its because you guys have everything I’ve ever wanted. Ya know, you care about each other, and you’re always there for each other no matter how much you screw up, I wanted that….” tears slid down her cheeks. “My mom left when I was six. I-I haven’t heard from her in a long time. My dad, he, he drinks a lot. Sometimes he isn’t home for days….” she rubbed at her eyes. “One time…I couldn’t have been older than eleven…He brings home a woman. Says she’s my new mom.” she scoffed. “Certainly doesn’t act like it….” she ran her fingers over her coat sleeve.

“…Claire….” Mickey pulled her into his arms and let her cry into his shoulder. “Its okay Bear, its okay…..”

Part Two

One More Chance

Request: Y/n is a surgeon and she and shawn had broken up but then he gets into an accident and she sees his security at the hospital and they talk and it’s fluffy and a happy ending where he asks her for another chance

a/n: I don’t know much about doctor stuff and I don’t watch any medical dramas so any doctor-ish information is from a google search…And this is kinda fluffy? More fluffy towards like the end end 😂 cut me some slack it’s a hospital and I had to make it a little tense😂😂

Your name: submit What is this?

You never did understand the whole throwing yourself into work when something drastically changed in a person’s life.  Everything was fine and dandy with your life; you had an amazing boyfriend who was out living his dream, finished your medical school and almost done your year of an internship at a hospital so you were about to start your residency.

           You loved your job.  And one of the things you loved the most was how supportive Shawn was. On the nights he was home, he would be your personal study cheerleader, staying up with you drinking coffee into the early hours of the morning, and encouraged you through your doubts.

            But then one day, when you thought everything was fine, Shawn broke your heart and broke things off between you two.  Almost three and a half years together and he called it off because he felt like he couldn’t devote enough time to you.

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renmayling  asked:

Sorry about that, here you go :) In 1x11 when Jamie brought Claire to the stones to ask her to go back to her own time. Jamie asked what Claire did and she approached the stone with both hands up. Jamie then stopped her because he said he wasn’t ready. But what if Jamie didn’t manage to stop her in time? What would Jamie have done? Where would he go? What would Claire have done when she realized she just (accidentally) made the biggest mistake of her life by going back?

I’ve been trying to write this ever since I received your ask! This is a brilliant prompt and I’m so glad I get to write it for you! Sorry it took so long! Hope you enjoy! <3 


It wasn’t until that moment that I realized how bad I needed to tell someone. Anyone. When the words finally came I felt a weight lift from me, but at the same time another replaced it. The truth of how I came here sounded just as ridiculous as any lie I could conjure up.

But he believed me.

He wanted to know everything, and so I told him. He couldn’t make sense of it, I barely made sense of it myself. But now he knew, and part of me could finally breathe again.

The world was a better place because of him, and i’m so glad that he was mine.


The fire burned low as the wind moved through the trees, rustling the leaves and branches into song. The clouds moved overhead, the small shimmer of a star shining through in its occasional absence. Claire slept soundly in Jamie’s arms, all of the turmoil of the day before forgotten in his embrace.

Jamie remained awake, relishing in the feel of her against him. This would be the last time they slept with one another, he decided, and Jamie didn’t want to forget a moment of it. She didn’t belong here with him, in this time. She had tried for so long to get back to her time, to her real husband. His heart ached to be one with hers since that moment she wept in his arms that first night at Leoch, and praise God that he got to love her for a time. He never wanted it to end, but her happiness was more important than any selfish need he had of her. He loved her enough to let her go. All he wanted was for her to be happy.

A large finger traced the outline of her jaw, then the soft curve of her lip. Those same lips that he had longed to kiss ever since the first time he laid eyes on her.

He brought his own lips down gently to hers and kissed her tenderly.

He could feel her sleepily smile against his lips, and he smiled in return.

If only you knew how happy you make me, a Sorcha. Come to me.

One hand cupped her cheek as the other drifted lower to the mass of her skirts. He swiftly pushed them out of the way and let his fingers glide along the smooth skin of her thighs. He could feel gooseflesh rise, and the fine hairs stand as his hand drifted up… and up.

He could feel her warm breath against his cheek as his hand reach the apex of her thighs.

Not as slippery as an eel, but still slippery, nonetheless. He thought smugly to himself.

His fingers moved against her, rubbing that magical spot that often had her screaming within minutes.

Soft moans escaped her lips as her eyes fluttered open. A smile.

“Jamie…”

“Shhh.” He silenced her with a small kiss and went back to his task.

Teasing her, he slipped the tip of one finger inside her before pulling it back out again, lingering near the small spot of her pleasure.

“Oh Jamie, I want you inside me.” She whispered as she pulled him down to her, desperate.

“No, sassenach. I want to watch you.” He smiled as her brows knitted together in anguish.

No, I can’t risk you being with child. Let me do this for you, Mo nighean.

His balls ached to be inside of her, to grant her request, but he couldn’t.

She moved her hips against his hand, urging him on, wanting, needing more.

She wanted him. Badly. But there was no persuading a Fraser.

He slipped one finger in, and then another. His thumb rubbed the spot and he soon brought her to her peak.

He kissed her again, swallowing her screams and falling with her into sleep.


He slept fitfully, fighting with himself on the decision to send her back. There was no help for it. It had to be done.

She was wrapped in his plaid, standing at the edge of the river as she laid her hands in the stream. The morning sun lighting the bits of auburn in her deep brown curls.

“So, sassenach. Are ye ready to go home?” His voice came deep, as he tried his best to keep back the utter ache he felt throughout his entire being.

“Yes.” She breathed. She smiled as she stepped into his arms, kissing him deeply.

Tears nearly broke to the surface as he pulled away. “Take a look.”


The walk to Craigh na Dun was short, yet it felt as if an eternity had passed. With each step his breath became short and shallow. Yet he had to face the inevitable.

She stopped dead as the stones came into sight, all the air leaving her body. She had tried to get here for so long. To get back. To her time. To Frank. Now she was here, yet she was anything but happy. She turned to Jamie, as if asking why.

He simply nodded and they moved ever forward. Ever onward.

It was as if she could feel her heart trying to escape her chest with each step she took, the cool morning air seeping into her bones.

Then they were there.

“This is the place?” Jamie asked, his hand on his sword as he paced the circle, checking for any threats.

“Yes.” Was the only word she managed to choke out.

Deciding they were safe in their surroundings, his hand left his sword and tried his best to put on a confident facade.

“So, what did ye do? The first time.”

“I didn’t do anything really, I heard this buzzing,” Suddenly she was moving, as if her legs moved of their own volition. “And I touched the stones…”

His hand came to pull her back, but she was gone.

“Claire…” He whispered in disbelief. He wasn’t ready, she wasn’t supposed to go just yet. He hadn’t told her how he loved her, how much she meant to him. And now it was too late. She was gone. Claire, his light, his home, his heart. Was gone.


I hadn’t willed my legs to move, but they did, as if the stones were pulling me towards them and I could not resist. In an instant I was falling, the veil screaming and tearing me piece by piece, only to haphazardly put me together again. I don’t remember closing my eyes, or how long they had been closed, but when I opened them I knew I was no longer in the 18th century. Everything was different, the deep rich greens were now faded nearly to a sickly brown. The trees lay still and silent, along with what life lived within them. The smell of grass and mud and wilderness, faded and mingled with the smell of asphalt and gasoline.

It felt as though my heart had been ripped from my chest. Yes, I had wanted to come back for a long time, but I no longer belonged here. I hadn’t even realized I loved him, and now it was too late. My home laid within the heart of a man who was two hundred years in the past.

Friends? Soulmates!

Originally posted by mooseleys

Characters: Y/n, Claire, Alex, Jody, Cas(mentioned), Dean, Sam

Pairing: No real pairing, hinted Cas x Y/n(female reader)

Warnings: Not much, fluff. Basically it. Past angst i guess. Awkwardness. 

Word count: 2052

Summary: Y/n runs into Claire Novak, the troubled girl she hated in the past. 

A/N: Requested by the anon-  Could you please do a female reader x Claire Novak where Claire and Y/N hated each other in the group home but they find each other on a hunt and become friends and then Y/N goes to Jodys house for dinner because Claire wants her to meet Jody, Alex, Sam and Dean and she finds it awkward when Jody brings up the whole sex thing and says she needs to be careful and not get pregnant and the reader says she’s gay so Jody doesn’t have to worry and it’s kinda awks. Ok, so stuck to most of it, but then Cas idea came to me, cos I love him. 

Tagged peeps: @waywardsons-imagines @whywhydoyouwantmetosaymyname @sallyp-53@supernatural-jackles @d-s-winchester @winchesterreid @teamfreewill-imagine@deanscherrypie@december-sunrise @helvonasche @fly-f0rever@kaitlynnlovegood@notnaturalanahi@kittenofdoomage  @wayward-mirage @nerdflash

Masterlist


Y/n ran from the lone werewolf she hadn’t been able to kill, entering the damn forest.

This was what she wanted to avoid, knowing the open space all around her, hidden by trees would make everything so much more difficult and dangerous.

She hid behind a bush, keeping her breaths steady and silent, making sure not to move a muscle.

Hearing a growl behind her, she turned, seeing the werewolf ready to pounce onto her.

Jumping out of the way, she hit her head on a rock, scrabbling to her feet and running as best she could, not taking a second to look back, ignoring the blood that was pouring down her face.

Sprinting through the spiny forest, a hand grabbed her from behind a tree, a yelp leaving her mouth as it was covered.

‘Shit, this is how I die. Suffocated by some soft ass hand. Fuck my life. I couldn’t even get that shit right’.

She clamped down on the hand, tearing through the skin, the person pulling their hand back and squealing.

A girl. Y/n could tell this was a girl from the pitch of the scream.

“What the hell dude”, she asked in a hushed whisper.

Y/n turned to see the girl, who she was praying was going to help her.

“Claire?”

“Y/n?”

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Daughter Knows Best

Author’s note: For obvious reasons, Charlie is the same age as Claire in this fic. Enjoy!

Jimmy knows just from the knock on his home office’s door that it’s Claire. He smiles as he calls for his daughter to enter. He might be working, but there’ll never be the time where he can’t afford a moment for his little girl.

He grows somewhat less enthusiastic when he sees the gleam in her eyes. He knows that gleam. She has that from her mother.

Claire has a plan, and she won’t allow anyone to stop her.

“We need Uncle Castiel to meet my auto shop teacher.”

“Why would I do that?”

Apart from him or Amelia always making sure one of them is available if a problem should arise, Claire loves auto shop. She’s doing well at school in every subject, really.

She rolls her eyes in a typical teenage commentary on dumb parental behaviour and explains, “Mr. Winchester would make the perfect boyfriend”.

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16 Days of Outlander - Day #16 To Ransom a Man’s Soul

And just like that, we’re at the end. There will have to be a few more rewatches before Season 2 starts (if only to be able to make it to Season 2). So here are the last favorites of Season 1.

Favorite Music Moment: Charge of the Highland Cattle. Everything about this scene is particularly satisfying, right down to the music. That the scene begins with the music of the Red Coats going through their morning drill only adds to the impression made by the Highland Coos as they barge in with their bagpipes and the MacKenzie men not far behind as they push forward in their rescue. 

Favorite Costume: Claire in breeks. There is no real reason for Claire to be wearing this outfit in this scene instead of a dress except that it emphasizes the vague physical resemblance between Claire and Black Jack that the show uses for Jamie’s dissociation. Similarly, there is no reason for me to like this simple costume so much and yet, I do. 

Favorite Location: the monastery. The monastery is such a peaceful place after Wentworth and it’s a beautiful location. I also like that when Jamie and Claire were first getting to know each other, they visited the Black Kirk - an abandoned monastery. In that episode, the concern was that the kirk was making people ill, that the devil had taken root there; here the monastery is a place where profound healing takes place, where the devil - in the form of Jack Randall’s torture - is exorcised. 

Favorite Minor Character: Father Anselm. His role isn’t as prominent in the show as it is in the books but Father Anselm and his kindness, sympathy, and willingness to believe in the extraordinary are exactly what Claire needs. Jamie needs her to be strong but at the same time, Claire’s world has also been turned upside down. Father Anselm provides what Claire needs to keep herself rooted and helps her find the strength she needs to bring Jamie back to himself. 

Favorite Book-to-Screen Adaptation, Favorite scene: Claire’s confession. The show removes one of the layers of Claire’s guilt because they didn’t have her kill the two soldiers in her determination to find and rescue Jamie - though they have her admit to Jenny in The Search that she would have killed the British soldier had Murtagh not appeared and done it for her. At the same time, there is a lot weighing on Claire’s conscious, particularly her lingering guilt over having left Frank the way she did - and in the book at least, Claire blames herself for what happened to Jamie because if she had gone back to Frank, he wouldn’t have been where he was when he got caught or had to offer Black Jack himself in exchange for her freedom, and several other scenarios. The scene in the show is a condensed version of several conversations from the book but they nailed Father Anselm’s believing her - and we see many times through the series how important it is to Claire that her tale is believed - and he not only believes her tale, but comforts her as to her own role, where she was expecting some form of ridicule for the two husbands thing. Lastly, the scene is shot so beautifully. I love the camera being placed behind the cross for the beginning as her confession begins - the line of the cross serves as a visual barrier between the confessor and confessing, much as they would be in a confessional. The only thing that would have made this scene better for me is if they would have included Father Anselm’s line to Claire: “A good marriage is one of the most precious gifts from God […] If you had the good sense to recognize and accept the gift, it is no reproach to you.”

Favorite Performance: Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. From start to finish, this is Heughan’s episode. The vulnerability, the shame Jamie feels, his despair - and a bit of the Fraser stubbornness - and then at the end of the episode, that tentative hope… I lose it every time during the scene when he remembers Claire is gone and starts crying, “There’s no more Claire.” The way he conveys Broken Jamie is just… everything for the character’s arc in Season 1. I can’t wait to see how Heughan incorporates the lingering effects of Jamie’s trauma into the character in Season 2 - not all of that change will be clearly written into the show; I know most of the impact will be felt in Heughan’s portrayal and after this episode, I have complete confidence that he will carry it off brilliantly.

Favorite “That’s not in the book” Part, Favorite Jamie and Claire Moment, Favorite Line: Claire getting through to Jamie. There are enough big changes to how this unfolds that I’m considering it “not in the book.” And I’m completely in love with how they changed it. What transpires in the book is simply not something that translates well to a visual medium. There’s too much vaguely supernatural about it that I think if they had tried it, more than just falling flat it would have been something mockable (for anyone who’s ever read and then seen Beloved, I can’t help thinking that too literal an interpretation of this scene would have been as bad/awkward as the red light - works on the page, not as an actual visual). My favorite line in this scene is when Jamie tells Claire “I can’t be your husband any longer and I willna be less to you.” That’s one of the lines that actually does come from the book and I love the way they worked it in here. Jamie spent weeks in love with Claire before their marriage and if it hadn’t come to that, simple friendship with her might have been enough. But having experienced that balancing moment - “I’m your master and you’re mine” - he can’t go back to a place where he can’t give her what she needs or deserves - he doesn’t want that for her and he can’t stand the thought of what that would do to him. And bravo to Claire for helping him understand that that balance they established doesn’t mean that they are always equal, all the time to every task but that they will find a new balance when it’s needed; that they can’t find any sense of balance alone. The way he reaches for her but hesitates twice and is only able to close his arm around her after she has taken hold of him… another moment that kills me every time (but it a much happier way).  

I Hate That I Love You - Part 2

Zach Mitchell x Reader

Word Count: 1,172

A/N: This is the second and final part of this post. Thank you again @sydneyhamer for requesting this, I hope you like how it came out. Thank you all for reading and for being so patient while I put this up. Enjoy!


Claire went easy on you as her assistant, knowing it was your first week. Running some errands for her was way better than cleaning up dinosaur poop, that’s for sure. She had to meet with someone today: Owen Grady. Claire filled you in on the details about him on the ride: he was the trainer for the velociraptors, Claire said it’s pretty impressive how much they respect him.

“That’s a lot of work for just one guy, he’s gotta have help,” you said. “He has help right with that right?”

Claire laughed, “Of course he has help. When working with dinosaurs, you always need help.”

Where was that help when I was cleaning up dinosaur dung, you thought. I swear once I see him again, I’m going to rip his-

Zach’s name being mentioned interrupted your thoughts. Claire was saying something but you had zoned out. “What?’ You asked, hoping you heard her right.

“I said, your mentor works for him. Zach Mitchell right?” You nodded, surprised that Zach is actually doing something on this island other than hitting on tourists. “Yeah, he cleans the treat buckets and all the gross things that come from the raptors.”

“Oh my god, seriously?” You couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of Zach doing the same dirty work that he made you do. “That’s awesome, I hope we see him doing it there. That’s perfect blackmail material right there.”

“You’re totally right,” Claire giggled with you.

You stopped laughing slightly when Claire pulled up to the velociraptor exhibit. It was pretty big, not even close to the size of the Indominus habitat, but still a good size.

You walked up to the structure, seeing the dinosaurs inside. There were four, two were green, one slightly darker than the other, a brown-ish one and one with blue stripes down its back. You climbed some stairs to your right, the landing opening up to a thin, metal catwalk that overlooked the cage. There was a man standing in the middle of it. He seemed to be talking to the dinosaurs in the cage, you couldn’t make out what he was saying though. He had a clicker in his hand, pressing it before he threw what looked like dead rats over the railing. A little gross, but whatever, you thought before looking around the place. There was a figure in the corner of your eye. It’s Zach! You immediately stepped back to hide behind a wall, peeking out just a little bit. He walked towards the catwalk a little, looking at the man standing on it. The man walked off the platform, handing Zach a bucket before walking away. Zach opened his mouth to say something to him but quickly shut it and dropped his head a little. He walked over to another pile of buckets and a wall of hoses behind them.

You walked from your hiding place slowly, starting to laugh a little as you got closer to Zach. He lifted his head, hearing your laughter and wanting to know where it came from. Once he saw you looking down at him while still chuckling, he avoided eye contact with you.

“Hello Mitchell, Zach Mitchell,” you said sarcastically, trying to suppress your laughter.

“What are you doing here?” Zach asked you, suddenly super serious.

“Now, that’s no way to greet a friend. Zach, pal, I thought we were on a first-name basis here..” You couldn’t help but smirk as you spoke to him.

Zach’s lips pressed together in a thin line. “What do you want?” He hissed.

Ignoring his question, you said, “Man, I never thought I’d see the day when the Zach Mitchell washed dirty buckets.”

Zach stood up, now towering over you slightly, because of your height difference.

“Hey buddy, maybe you should be getting back to your work there huh? Seems like it’s going to take a while..”

You resisted the urge to vomit as Zach picked up a dead rat from the bucket he was cleaning and held it in front of you. It had a little bit of dried up blood on it, making you gag even more. You turned your head so you wouldn’t have to look at the revolting thing anymore.

Now it was Zach’s turn to smirk. “What’s the matter (Y/N)? Scared of a little mouse?”

“I’m not scared, it just grosses me out. And that’s definitely a disgusting rat, not a mouse.” You pushed his hand away when he tried to stick the dead vermin in your face.

He kept trying to stick the gross thing in your face and you just kept backing away, trying to get out of his reach.

“Zach, stop.” Before you knew it, you were on the metal catwalk overlooking the exhibit.

“Zach, I’m serious- stop.” You leaned against the railing, trying to get away from him.

Your hand slipped, causing you to fall slightly over the railing. Zach dropped the rat, finally, when he saw you lean over the edge dangerously close to the raptors’ reach. He grabbed you, pulling you back onto the platform, holding you close in case you tripped again.

Zach ran his hands up and down your sides while you tried to calm yourself down. Your breathing was out of control and you were shaking like a leaf. Your eyes were closed as you attempted to catch your breath, but once your realized Zach was holding you, your eyes snapped open. You immediately pushed away from him, fuming, as you stormed off. Zach stood there for a second, confused on what just happened, before rushing after you.

A few tears slid down your face as you were walking away from the exhibit as fast as you could. Zach called your name a couple of times, you could tell he was close behind you, but you didn’t stop walking. Finally, Zach grabbed your arm, forcing you to turn around and face him.

You were tired from all the panicking you had just done. “What?” You weakly asked him.

“I-I’m sorry for pushing you over the railing back there. I didn’t mean to, really, I’m not that bad of a person.”

You rolled your eyes at his talking about himself again. “Zach, it’s fine. No one got hurt, it’s really fine..”

“But it was all my fault. I’m so sorry for putting you in a situation like that, it should never have happened.”

“Zach, seriously, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it’s not a big-”

You were cut off by Zach pressing his lips to yours. You were surprised by the kiss at first, but soon leaned into it, pushing yourself against him even closer. His hands wrapped around your waist as you grabbed onto his arms to steady yourself. When you pulled away, you leaned your forehead against his.

“So, do you forgive me?” Zach asked you.

You slapped his arm. “Yes dumbass. I said it like four times already.” You both smiled as he pulled you in for another kiss, this time deeper and more passionate than before.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia BTS Sketches

Hi guys! Haven’t brought you a post in awhile, for I’ve been busy, but I have one today. This is from the short that Floyd County Productions created for Sunny’s 100th episode “The Gang Saves The Day,” where they get caught up in a convenience store robbery, and each imagine in their heads how they would save the day. We had the great honor as a studio to work on the animated segment that is Charlie’s imagination, which is a strange rethinking of Disney’s “Up.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcIZZAi4j0Y (frame rate’s a little weird, but it still looks good : )

I was a part of the pre-production team on this project, with Chad Hurd as our art director. I helped out with the character’s turns for Charlie and the Waitress, as well as doing some layouts for the NUMEROUS rats we were to populate Charlie’s world with. I also was asked to oversee the assignments and manage the many illustrators we had working with us on the project, so that we finished on time and produced a lot of great drawings for the animators. I had a blast working on this project!

Here you can see the turnaround work for Charlie. The original designs were all done by Claire Almon, and when I joined, the first thing we needed was turns for our main characters. I started out with a line sketch first, and once that was done and approved, I did a colored version so that we knew where to put our shading when we build the character in Illustrator, mainly because we were working with no outlines.

Here is the same thing for the waitress. She just looks like she has more because she has a full turnaround, with “flips” as we call them. We have to consider things like when she’s facing screen right, what side is her hair parted on, and what does it look like, and vice versa. Charlie had it as well, for his shirt being asymmetrical, I’m just not sure why I didn’t draw it  :-P  We pretty much always do flips for any production we work on, but you can see most of the “flip” work done in Archer, for things like shirt buttons, jackets, crotch lines, etc.

I also did the turns for our rats as well. There were three rat designs, and we really just duplicated those three body types throughout.

So another thing I did for this project was some layout work. Layout is basically drawing a composition of the scene, before it goes into scene setups (where they import in all the characters and do the animation on the background with timing). We do this so the animators have a guide to follow, and the directors and producers have an idea of what the the final scene will look like. The planning on the front end helps with production in the back end.

As you can see…there were a lot of rats to deal with! I came up with an idea of making rat “clusters” as you can see in the sketches off to the side, where you can group some of them together, and duplicate throughout the scene. So all you would have to do is do the animation for the cluster of rats one time, and use it over and over again. Then they can put them all together when they comp the scene. It saves a lot of work!

So here are the three main final layouts for the rats. It took a long time placing them all in there, but I like to think my effort helped out a lot of people down the pipeline ;-)

I also just wanted to post some of the beautiful backgrounds the artists painted for this project. 

Well there you have it, a few more behind the scenes sketches from another project made by Floyd County Productions, and one I am super proud and lucky to work on!

Fake ID

Summary: You want to see the band where your crush is the lead singer of, but in order to get into the bar, you’ll need a fake ID. You’ve been told you by best friend Claire where to go to find a man who can help: Dean Winchester.

Wordcount: 940

Pairnings: Reader x Caire (friends), Reader x Dean 

Inspired by: Fake ID by Big & Rich ft. Gretchen Wilson


Great, how were you going to get to Claire’s friend for your ticket into the bar next week, when he was in an actual bar right now? 

You sighed as you stopped in front of the building, unsure eyes looking through the foggy windows. You pulled your jacket closer and fiddled with the zipper while gnawing on your lip.

“Get it together,” you muttered and took a deep breath. You had two options here:

1. Go inside, find the man Claire had described and get what you needed.

2. Run away and never get to see the band (with their cute lead singer that you were totally crushing on) you were dying to see.

Before you could decide, your feet starting moving closer to the bar. You pushed the door open and didn’t look anybody in the eye while nearing the bar.

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Love Online - Chapter 11

This is a continuation of Love Online. You can find previous chapters linked here:  [ Chapter 1]  [Chapter 2]  [Chapter 3]  [Chapter 4]  [Chapter 5]  [Chapter 6]  [Chapter 7]  [Chapter 8]  [Chapter 9]  [Chapter 10]   


Cottage Pleasures

Jamie took Claire’s hand and slowly moved toward the bedroom.  Once inside, he closed the door behind them and kissed her again, this time running his hands over her body.  His kiss travelled to her neck as he began unzipping her dress.  His lips ran down one shoulder as the strap fell loose, exposing her beautiful velvet skin.  

Her breath quickened as he repeated this slow seduction on the other shoulder, letting the other strap fall, exposing her breasts.  His eyes bore into hers with a smouldering look of untamed desire.

“Jamie,” she said faintly as his kisses trailed down between her breasts.

He moved to sit down on the bed, bringing her to stand between his knees.  He held her close as he took one breast into his mouth, slowly sucking and teasing her nipple with his tongue.  She held his head and sighed in deep pleasure as the sensations in her breast were echoed in her core - an ache deep inside her that could only be satisfied by joining.

Jamie pushed her dress off of her hips and let it pool to the floor.  He worked at her other breast as he smoothed his hands over her round bottom, noting that she wore nothing but her thigh-high stockings.  

“God, Sassenach, you are so incredibly sexy.  It’s going to be hard to take my time about it.”  He grasped her rear, squeezing it in his big hands.  “Lord, your arse is unbelievable.”  He kept squeezing and stroking as his lips travelled down to her stomach, licking her as he went.

“Oh, Jamie.  I want you,” Claire said, breathless, burying her fingers in his thick auburn curls.

“Jesus,” Jamie gasped as he moved one hand down between her legs.  “Ye’re as slippery as waterweed.”

“Ahhh,” she sighed, opening herself to him.

He stroked her gently, watching her as she closed her eyes and threw her head back in ecstasy.

“Jamie!  Oh, God.  I need you right now.”  

Her head tilted down again to look at him as her hands moved to untie his cravat.  He pulled off his coat and vest quickly as she made quick work of his shirt buttons.  Jamie reached to undo his kilt, but she stopped him.

“Leave it on.”  

His eyes widened.  “Really?” he said, putting his hands back on her bottom.

“Oh, yes,” she said, giving him a mischievous smile. “ You don’t know how sexy it is to see you in that kilt.”

He smiled slyly.  “Och, aye?”

She bent over, placing her hands on his thighs, then moved them up further under the kilt until she reached his throbbing erection.  “Christ, Jamie!”

“Je Suis Prest, my love.”  

She pushed up his kilt, displaying the member in question.  “Oh, yes, this is going to be fantastic.”

She gave him a tentative stroke, then Jamie grabbed her and laid back on the bed, bringing her with him.  She could feel the firm heat of him pressed against her belly, and the ache in her body multiplied.  

“Take me, Jamie!” she cried out.

He abruptly rolled over, pinning her under him.  “Och, aye, Sassenach.  Ye want it?”

“Yes!” she cried as she writhed beneath him.  She opened her legs wide, desperate to have him inside her.  She grasped his arse under his kilt and pulled him toward her, raising her hips in invitation.  

Suddenly, he thrust into her hot, slippery depths.  She screamed in ecstasy as he filled her, reaching her womb as he thrust deeper.  The movement of his hips was further aided by her firm grasp on his backside as she pulled him even deeper.  

“Yes! YES!!” she screamed, filling the room with the sound of her pleasure.

“Christ, Sassenach!” Jamie cried as he continued to pound her relentlessly.  “I canna hold on much longer.  It’s just…so…GOOD!!

He let out a fierce cry as he spilled into her, pulsing strongly inside her.  His release pushed her body over the edge and soon he could feel the violent shudders as her body contracted around him.  

“Sweet Jesus!” she cried, her whole body trembling with the force of her climax.

Jamie held her tightly against him until her tremors finally ceased.  Eventually, he felt her muscles relax around him and her body melted into his embrace.

After they had recovered, Jamie said, smiling, “How do you feel, Mrs. Fraser?”

She looked at him for a moment, and a satisfied grin crossed her face.  “Well and thoroughly fucked, Mr. Fraser.”  

Jamie laughed heartily.  “Weel, I suppose that means I served ye well.”

She smiled up at him.  “Indeed.”  

He leaned down to kiss her, his mouth devouring hers.  He poured his heart and soul into her, claiming her once again as his.

They got under the covers and held each other close, lying face to face, staring into each other’s eyes.  Claire smiled and said, “How does it feel now, being a married man?”

Jamie smiled too, his eyes misting with emotion.  “Och, Sassenach, it is more wonderful than I could ever have imagined.  Just knowing you’re mine - completely mine - makes me so happy and proud.  Oh, Claire, how I want to please ye, to take ye fierce and to hear you cry out my name.  When I love ye, and you look at me like ye are now, I can see our future in your eyes.  You are my heart.  I am finally whole for the first time because of you.”

“Oh, Jamie,” she cried softly, tears falling from her eyes.  “My dear, sweet, Jamie.  I love you more than you know.  You truly complete me - I never knew that was possible.  I’m so proud to be your wife, my love.”

They held each other closer, breath mingling between them as they drifted off to sleep.


In the early morning, they awoke to the sounds of birds chirping outside.  A stream of sunlight fell across the bed, bathing them in a soft, golden glow.

“This is lovely, Jamie,” she said as they snuggled in bed.  “It’s so peaceful here.”

“Aye, it is.  Lallybroch has always been a refuge for me.”

“I can see why.”  

Jamie’s hand was stroking her stomach lightly, and slowly began to roam downward.  Claire looked at him and smiled.  

“Again my love?”

“Aye,” he said, grinning.

She turned to him then, hooked her leg over his hip and said, “Je Suis Prest.”

This time, Jamie took it slow.  He wanted to take the time to love and cherish her, paying court to his beloved wife.  Their bodies moved as one in a sensual dance of love and yearning.  After a time, they both gave over to each other, blissfully complete in body and soul.


A while later, Claire said, “Is there any food around here?  I’m starving.”

“I dinna ken, but I’ll find out.”

Jamie looked around the cottage.  He noticed that there was a small kitchen, complete with a quaint little table and chairs.  On the table was an assortment of pastries and a small coffee pot with a note, written in Jenny’s elegant hand:

When you’re ready, we’ll have breakfast waiting for you at the house.  In the meantime, here’s some goodies to tide ye over while ye enjoy your morning.

Jamie smiled.  Leave it to Jenny to think of everything.

The pair ate pastries and drank the aromatic coffee in bed, savoring the food and each other.  Claire looked at Jamie appreciatively as she sipped the last of her coffee, his lithe form swathed only in the sunlight coming through the window.

“God, Jamie, you are so beautiful.  My own personal Adonis.”

“Oh really?  Is that a good thing?”

“Oh yes.  You are magnificent, just like the mythical god of beauty and desire.”

“Then you must be my Aphrodite, my goddess.”  He gently smoothed his hand over her breast before placing it on her hip, pulling her in for a lingering kiss.


After a while, they finally got out of bed and showered together, no small feat considering the size of the tiny bathroom.  

As they dressed, Claire said, “I know we’re leaving today for our honeymoon, but you still haven’t told me where we’re going.  Care to enlighten me?”

He grinned.  “Nope.  Not yet.”

“You know it’s impossible for me to know what to pack if you don’t tell me where we’re going.”

“Dinna fash, Sassenach.  Regardless of where we go, you won’t be wearing clothes very long.”

She came up to him, smiling, and put her arms around his neck.  “Oh really?  I’m intrigued.”

She leaned up on her tiptoes and kissed him deeply, as his hands snaked around her, latching onto her ample bottom once again.

“Aye, but if it makes ye feel better, I’ve enlisted Jenny’s help in making sure ye have everything ye need for where we’re going.  I let her in on the secret yesterday before the wedding.”

“Well, ok then.  I imagine Jenny would know well enough what to pack.  When will you tell me, Jamie?  I’m dying of suspense.”

“Not until we are on our way to the airport.”

“Oh, so we’re flying somewhere?”

“Aye.  And you’re going to love it.”

“I can’t wait, Jamie.  When do we leave?”

“We’ll go right after we have breakfast with the family.  Then we’ll have over a week alone together, full of peace and love.”

Claire smiled warmly at him, taking his hand as they left the little cottage and made their way towards the main house, giddy with love.

16 Days of Outlander - Day #2 Castle Leoch

I think I’ll keep posting my favorites based on where they occur within the episode rather than by what they are. Some of my categories are ones I’m going to try keeping consistent each day but others are definitely situational.

Anyway, diving into 01x02 Castle Leoch…

Favorite Book-to-Screen Adapted Scene: Claire tending Jamie’s wounds, Jamie explains his back, “You needna be scairt of me.” The whole scene flows so seamlessly and their chemistry together is undeniable. It carries the necessary dramatic weight but they hit the humorous notes perfectly as well (”Chickens are verra poor company.”) It’s one of the most important scenes from their relationship - especially in establishing their connection - and it comes very early in the episode, setting the tone for a lot of what happens. It’s clear to see the way his words regarding “You needa be scairt of me - nor anyone, so long as I’m with ye” play out. She is visibly more confident and relaxed when she’s around him or when she’s just been with him, slightly more anxious, nervous, and wary when he’s absent. 

Favorite Performance: Gary Lewis as Colum MacKenzie. I’m going to try really hard to not have either Sam or Cait be my favorite performance every week - they knock it out of the park so consistently that I think that’s kind of a given. So for Castle Leoch, I’m choosing Gary Lewis and his performance establishing Colum MacKenzie as the Laird of Clan MacKenzie. The gears begin turning as soon as Claire arrives and tells her dubious story. He’s agreeable to her throughout the episode, inviting her to reveal more about herself and her circumstances than she intends and succeeding. The character of Colum is subtle and Lewis’ performance is as well, especially contrasted with Dougal. By the end when Colum decides she will not be leaving but rather staying as his guest, so long as she doesn’t try to leave, the full cunning of his character has blossomed for the audience and its clear he’s as much a force to be reckoned with as Dougal, perhaps more so.

Favorite Music Moment: Claire watches Dougal play with Hamish. As Claire looks out on the landscape from a castle parapet and then catches Dougal joining Hamish and his young playmates in a mock sword fight, the music just… I love the Castle Leoch theme here. It grounds her in the castle life in a way we don’t really see her grounded in the 1940s back in Sassenach. She looks genuinely content and pleased with where she is, even if it isn’t where she thought/wanted/expected to be and the music emphasizes that beautifully.

Favorite Line or, Favorite Foot-In-Mouth Moment: “I’ve made an error.” Given the affection with which she saw Dougal playing with Hamish and the fact that she is a stranger to Castle Leoch and its inhabitants, it isn’t such an offensive error for Claire to have thought Hamish was Dougal’s son but saying so aloud at dinner the way she does clearly hits a nerve and for once the MacKenzie brothers are shaken. Claire picks up on it immediately but instead of brushing it off lightly with a, “must be the family resemblance” or something along those lines, she turns quite self-conscious and responds with, “It seems I’ve made an error,” a statement true on so many levels. 

Favorite Location: the paddock and stable where Jamie and Claire have their picnic. We don’t have many opportunities to see the grounds at Castle Leoch - the castle and courtyard, sure (and later we’ll see a bit of the woods) but not the open grounds of the place. The field as Claire walks to find Jamie is just gorgeous and the small stable structure away from the castle help to create the feeling of freedom Claire has with Jamie at this point in the episode. It isn’t a cramped area like the castle with shadowy corners for people to lurk and hide and watch her. It is open and she can see where she’s going and it’s pleasant weather and Jamie is there helping her feel safe. 

Favorite Scene: Claire tells off Rupert. I liked Rupert in the books well enough but the way he and Angus have been adapted for the show is just amazing and I love Rupert’s dynamic with Claire. He’s more laid back in it than we will see Angus (he’s more annoyed) and the way he reacts when Claire confronts him about his spying on her is to basically just shrug and say “I’m just following my orders.” His line, “I am Dougal’s eyes, no his heid” is one of my favorites of the episode and then as he goes on to warn Claire about how she should be grateful when it’s him following her and watching her because Angus will be worse is perfection. “He willna ken what to make of that.”

Honorable Mention for Favorite Music Moment: 1940s music. Starting with Claire humming the music as she dresses for one of the intervening days before she’s supposed to leave with Mr. Petry, the 1940s music helps convey Claire’s mentality and goals with subtle brilliance. It is music that sounds like’s it’s being played on a record player or over a radio connection, with those slight imperfections in the sound quality. Then abruptly ending the track with Claire hitting her head after Geillis speaks unexpectedly becomes the perfect transition into Geillis’ introduction.

Favorite Minor Character: Geillis Duncan. Well, minor at this point in the game anyway. She injects a bit of levity to the second half of the episode with her immediate teasing of Claire that is so different from the teasing she’s received from Rupert, the immediate trust and friendship she’s found with Jamie, and the outright suspicion and awkwardness that have categorized her encounters with Colum and Dougal. Geillis offers Claire help in her own way when she invites her to the hall and translates the proceedings for her, even helping her to sneak out without causing too much of a stir. It was a presence Claire desperately needed at that point in the episode. 

Favorite Jamie and Claire Moment: the look exchanged in the hall. It’s such a small moment of connection where they seek and find each other with no larger communication necessary. He immediately finds her in the crowd as Murtagh leads him out and as soon as she locks eyes with him, she starts to follow, heedless of anyone else in the hall. Luckily Geillis is there to help her escape in way that will keep gossip down. She is just so concerned for him and his expression is a mixture of “god I hope she’s impressed” and “please let me get to talk to her some more.” 

Favorite “This wasn’t in the book” Part: Jamie and Claire exchange goodbyes. In the book there is no Mr. Petry. Colum never tells Claire that she can leave at the end of a week and continue on her way. It’s always clear that she is there until he says otherwise. As such, there is never a moment this early in Jamie and Claire’s relationship where a potentially permanent parting is imminent and so, no need to bid one another farewell. When Claire announces to Jamie in the episode that she’ll be leaving the next day, his face falls but with such subtlety as he tries to hide his disappointment. Claire is perhaps oblivious to just how disappointed he is, but we in the audience certainly aren’t (especially when you compare it to the look of impatience and reluctance that appears when Claire walks off to let Laoghaire have her word alone with him). It’s also - I believe - the first time Jamie uses Claire’s first name (instead of Sassenach or Misstress Beauchamp) and it comes out so tenderly (clearly something he wanted to save for a time in their friendship/relationship when they were more intimately acquainted but since it is probably the last time he’ll have a chance, he’s determined to use her first name at least once) and it’s his use of her first name that seems to give Claire a little moment of pause (regret?) before she puts on a polite smile again and leaves. 

Favorite Costume: Claire’s “I’m supposed to be leaving” outfit. Much as I like the costume mirroring in the picnic scene, I really love Claire’s accessories here and the color of her bodice and sleeves (it’s just difficult to get a good still shot of this particular outfit). The fur neck piece just looks so warm and those wrist warmers are one of the many pieces of knitwear that I don’t really need but would love to have in my wardrobe nonetheless.