Loss (Act II), Part Twenty-Two

missclairebelle:

There are not words enough to express my gratitude to @kalendraashtar​ (for her unflagging honesty and encouragement), @notevenjokingfic​ (for being the one who listens to my ranting), @sassenachwaffles​ (for keeping me focused on the big picture and avocados), and @kkruml​ (for her hawkeye for unnecessary floweriness and repetition) for all of the things they do to help me through this process. It might seem silly, but they all mean a lot to me and have kept this train moving.


Loss: Act I and ficlets

Loss: Act II: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six| Part Seven | Part Eight| Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen |  Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen |  Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty-One


Loss (Act II)
Part Twenty-Two
(Jamie P.O.V.)

The backseat of John Grey’s artificially-warmed car smelled of a life built over a series of years.  (Leather and powder.   Coffee and juice boxes.  Sage and animal crackers.  Aftershave and baby shampoo.)  

There, in late afternoon traffic, pitched just loud enough for me to hear, Claire’s voice adopted the tone reserved for a lie.

“I’m cold.”

She reached over the carseat separating us. Her fingers fumbled in the rhythm of a first-time piano player, searching for me until I turned my hand palm up. Our digits tangled and she began to stroke the line of the still-healing scar along my ring finger.  For once, her hand was warmer than mine.

“We should get you a new ring.”  

With a body-consuming, ancient, and bone-dry sigh, her head of curls fell to rest on the seat, eyes not fluttering shut, but instead falling decisively closed.  

My guts churned hot and sour as I thought of my wedding band.

(The ring that she slid onto my finger at our wedding, that had not been removed until cut free in California. Now just a shard of twisted metal in a plastic bag and tucked away in my luggage.)

I turned my back on the passing scenery of our city (drizzle, snow, slush, streetlights) to study her.  

When my wife smiled (really smiled), it made her whole face undergo a metamorphosis.  

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