Flood my Mornings: Fluff



[no, really… the title is ‘Fluff’]

  • This story takes place in an AU in which Jamie travels through the stones two years after Culloden and finds Claire and his child in 1950 Boston.

@maryloubird suggested (long ago) for FMM: “Furnace issues"

January, 1952 

“Sassenach? Christ, are ye ill?” 

Still hazed in sleep, he reached for his wife and pulled her closer to him underneath the blankets.

“Not ss-sick…Collld.” she whispered, and in truth, he could feel her jaw thudding against his chest like a hammer. “You’re nn-not??” 

A second later and a tentative hand out from under the blankets had him up on his feet, cursing the bloody Heating system in all the languages he possessed.

“Again?” Claire moaned, coming out from under the blankets. “It peters out last week, and now has the gall to—Oh, bloody hell, honestly?” 

For the vain click-click-click of the lamp switch under Jamie’s fingers had just proclaimed it to be a Very Inconvenient Night.  

There was no repairman that would travel out in this weather, he knew as he looked out the window, with eight inches of snow on the ground, more falling, and ice slicking every surface in sight, forbye.

He opened his mouth to curse, to vent the boiling up of frustration and indignation against the storm and foul machines both—

But quite of a sudden, he was smiling, feeling his chest swelling with something like excitement. Contentment, bordering on insouciance. 

He’d lived without Power or Heating for twenty-seven years, had he not?

“Daddy? Da-ddy, can we have marsha-mellows?” 

“Wait a moment, Bree. Down ye go, lad,” Jamie groaned, lowering Ian into Claire’s arms where she lay on the sofa with Bree at her feet, one and all swaddled in wool sweaters and caps under a nest of blankets. He gave the heavy-laden piece of furniture one final nudge closer to the fire. 

“Not too close!” Claire cried, above Bree’s whining. 

“Just getting it squared up, mo chridhe, dinna fash. ‘Tis warm enough?” 

“Yes! Nice and toasty, as long as we don’t catch a spark and become toast ourselves!”

Though the air of the sitting room was still frigid, at five or six feet from the fire, the sofa formed a sort of shell that captured the heat perfectly. Claire’s concern about sparks was not in the least bit frivolous, but as long as he kept watch, the configuration should do nicely to keep them all from freezing like Bree’s favorite Ice Pops in the night. And speaking of Brianna….


“Sorry, lass, I forgot. Dinna raise your voice to Mummy or Da, though, aye?” He leaned his elbow on the sofa back and reached down to ruffle her hair reassuringly. “Now….Do we have marshmallows to hand?” 

“Uh-huh!” she cried, already clambering down in excitement and pattering toward the kitchen door. “And we can have s’mores of them!

He followed and opened the door for her. Mind, ye have to have some before ye can have some more, cub.” 

She spun on her heel by the cupboard. “No, Da, it’s suhh-MORRRRRES-uhhh.”

He turned and raised an eyebrow at Claire over his shoulder. Do you ken what she’s talking about?” 

“Haven’t the foggiest.”  

A few minutes later, though, and three-year-old Bree had led them all into the magical realm of graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow bliss, something Mrs. Byrd had apparently once made her. 

Jamie already had (he was slightly sheepish to admit) a startlingly-intense love for marshmallow, having been captivated completely from that very first Mallow Cup.  White and soft and sticky and sweet, it was nothing like marshmallow leaf tea—it was heaven, like reaching up to taste the very clouds. A fanciful thought, but no less true in the experience. And heated, with the chocolate melting all over and soaking into the biscuit—

“Forget ‘s’mores,’” he said, licking his fingers as he polished another off, “I’ll have ‘s’m-all-of-them.’”

Bree glared from where she sat beside him on the hearth rug, leaned against the sofa. “Nuh-uh, Da, I am!” 

He made a show of trying to gobble up the rest of her treat, getting a very sticky palm thrust in his face for his trouble. She’d make a fine American Football player one day, he thought, if the photographs in the newspapers were any indication.

“Did you know they make a marshmallow creme?” 

“A what?” 

“It spreads like butter!” Claire said, accepting the third ‘s’more’ he passed up to her. “Della has peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches every day for her lunch.” 

“Well that’s it, then,” he replied with grim resignation. 

“What’s what?” 

“This is the day James Fraser lost his figure and became a lifelong roly-poly of a—Ohhhh, no ye don’t, a bhlaiach.” 

Ian, who had been dozing in Claire’s lap after nursing and a few messy bites of graham cracker, had suddenly lunged toward the edge of the sofa. Jamie twisted to catch him up under the oxters, then stood, dusting crumbs off himself and letting the fire warm his backside. 

Christ, but you’re getting big, sweet lad.”

“Not as big as me, though,” Bree said, the wee puffball at the peak of her cap wobbling. 

“No, certainly not,” Claire promised. “Here, lovey, come snuggle with me.”  

Satisfied, Bree obliged. Ian chewed on two fingers as he grinned up at Jamie, milky saliva flowing down his chin. 

“What do ye think about being up so late, Ian?” 

“Guergh,” he said definitely.

“Oh, aye? Geurgh? Canna just say you’re wrong.” 

Ian beamed ecstatically at the pleasure of being understood, and the fist went back in his mouth with a happy, “Gnumm, gnumm, gnummmm—” 

Gnumm yourself.” 

The bairns were soon fast asleep, snoring like wee pups on their respective parental shoulders. 

Easing one final log onto the fire with his free hand, Jamie held Ian’s capped head and settled down onto the opposite end of the sofa. He gingerly stretched his legs out beneath the blankets, stockinged-feet just barely fitting in the narrow swath of cushion beside Claire’s bum. 

Claire suddenly jerked awake and—very thoughtfully for someone still half-asleep— pushed the blanket securely under his heels to keep them from sliding off. 

He mouthed a silent, heartfelt thanks, and she smiled back, sweet and sleepy and perfect. He didn’t take his eyes from her as her own slowly ebbed closed again, graceful arms tender; strong and protecting, even in sleep.

Not for the first time, Jamie felt the keenness of the loss of music from his life. 

Moments like these, the long, silent hours of watch-keeping, all but cried out for song…..the quiet sort; the powerful tales and promises of the Highlands, given life by rhythm and plaintive melody. 

He spoke the promises, all the same—the tune alive and true, if only in his own memory—letting them bless the cold night and the warmth they’d found.

Hey, whaddyaknow, I wrote something new! 

I just love the idea of Jamie being startled by his own sweet tooth 


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