imagineclaireandjamie: What I’d REALLY love would be a story devoted to JC relishing their ever…

imagineclaireandjamie:

What I’d REALLY love would be a story devoted to JC relishing their ever expanding family & how much joy it brings to their lives. Thinking back to when they thought they might never have any children, to now, floating on a cloud nine of happiness with their home a reflection of their children & grandchildren….sigh…. Makes me happy just thinking about it….

Anon - I was inspired to write my 04x09 one-shot based on your beautiful prompt. It’s not a direct answer to the prompt, but certainly along similar lines. Enjoy! xoxo, Mod Gotham

They didn’t speak for a long while, each lost in their own thoughts as the wind rustled the long, shady branches high above.

A chipmunk bounded right beyond their boots. Jamie shifted a bit on the damp carpet of leaves. “I - I hope you dinna mind me being so forward wi’ my words. It has always been easy for me to express myself, my emotions - ye’ll ken that sometimes it isna so for yer Mam. She feels the same, but has trouble finding the proper words.”

“Yeah - you’re right about that. But you don’t need to worry about me - I’m not a delicate flower or anything.”

“No,” he smiled. “No, you’re certainly not. Another way that ye’re like yer Mam.”

Bree snorted. “She’s certainly not delicate.”

“Which can be dangerous for her sometimes.” Jamie turned away, rustling in his bag. “From how she is, and how you are - I can tell that in your time, women have a great deal more power. They are more equal. They have many more opportunities for life, for work. Like yer Mam getting her medical degree, and then being successful as a surgeon. And you going to university, and living in a big city all on yer own.”

He turned back, offering her a strip of jerky. “But I’m sure ye can tell that many women here are no’ like that.”

She chewed for a bit, savoring the spicy, smoky flavor. “Yeah. It’s kind of hard for me to see, to be honest. I’m not used to women who are afraid of men. Or men who won’t listen to women, or take them seriously.”

He chewed on his own piece of jerky, clearly deep in thought.

“That’s one of the reasons I marrit yer Mam, ye ken - to protect her. From a lot of things, but from one man in particular.”

“Black Jack Randall.”

Instantly he stiffened beside her, and rested his left hand on his knee. In the early afternoon light, she saw it was crisscrossed with scars.

“I - I hope you don’t mind that Mama told me a bit about him. About - about what he did to your back, and to your hand.”

With no hesitation she picked up his scarred hand, holding it gently between hers. Examining it. Every line, every crease. How the pulse fluttered in his wrist.

“Look,” she remarked, extending her own hand beside his. “Our nails are the same.”

He craned his neck, just a bit, squinting. “Aye - aye, they are. Certainly no’ like yer Mam’s hands - her nails are all neat and rounded.”

“Is this the hand that Mama fixed?”

His pinky curled. “Yes - see the long, straight lines on the back of my fingers? My hand was crushed wi’ a hammer. She cut into each finger and fixed all the bones.”

“Were you awake?”

“Aye. Though my whole body was in so much pain - I dinna remember it. And look there, on the back - do you see the wee circular scar?”

She nodded.

“That’s where my hand was nailed to a table. After it had been crushed, mind.”

Brianna swallowed. “That’s so brutal. You say it so casually.”

“It was a very long time ago, *a leannan*. Sometimes it feels like it happened to someone else. But it happened. And it may be difficult for ye to understand it when I say this - but I would endure it all again. For it ensured yer Mam’s safety.”

Brianna’s spine sharpened with a chill.

Now he took her hands in his own, and turned to face her.

“I tell ye this, Brianna, because I want ye to know how much I love yer Mam. And how much I love *you*. For her - and for you - I would do *anything*.”

The eyes boring into hers were so much like her own.

“It may be difficult for you to understand this. But you need to know how much we wanted you – yer Mam, to be sure, but me as well. And you need to know that I have loved you ever since the moment I realized you were in yer Mam’s belly. Do you know I remember that exact moment?”

She swallowed, throat dry. Mesmerized.

“We had been marching with Charles Stuart and the Highland army. Because I was an officer, yer Mam and I were billeted in a manor house - not outside along wi’ the men. The room we were given had no furniture, so yer Mam made us a wee nest of blankets on the floor before the fire.”

Now his hands traced her own. “I was holding her as she slept. Feeling her belly. And somehow I knew. You were there.”

Then the most profound grief washed across his face. “I was so happy. Because we had prayed for you for so long. We thought we would never have children of our own - yer Mam has told you of Faith?”

She could only nod.

He coughed. “But then my heart broke, ye ken? Because I knew yer Mam’s knowledge of what was to come - the Scots would lose at Culloden. There would be no safe place for you to be born. Or to grow up. There was only one way.”

“Sending Mama back through the stones,” she whispered.

“Aye.” His voice cracked. “Losing yer Mam was more than I could bear. But to know that she was going to a safe place - and to a man who would care for the both of ye – that was my motivation, even though it felt like ripping my heart and soul out of my chest. And that’s what kept me alive, all those years after. Knowing she was safe back in her own time. Knowing that *you* were cared for.” He heaved a deep sigh. “It’s difficult to explain – but perhaps one day, when ye have bairns of yer own, you’ll understand.”

She squeezed his hands. “Did you ever think about us?”

“Every day. I prayed for you both every day. With almost every breath.”

“But you didn’t know we had made it safely through the stones.”

“I didn’t. But I have faith in God. He gave yer Mam to me - He would deliver you two to safety. And He did. And now you have both come back to me, and I have more than I ever dreamed I would have.”

When she hugged him he instantly reciprocated. Rubbed her back. Caressed her hair.

“Thank you,” she sniffed.

She felt his laugh, rumbling deep in his chest, more than she heard it. “Whatever for, lass?”

“For - for - for everything. It sounds silly to say, but it doesn’t seem enough.”

“Ach, I understand. But I dinna need your thanks. I would gladly do it again. Because it means you and I will always end up here, today. Hunting our bees.”

His heart soared with her smile.

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