Archives for the Date August 12th, 2018

Loss Ficlet: Five Ways Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Break In Their New Home (Part 3.0: Windowsill)

missclairebelle:

This is the third in a series of five “the future Mr. and Mrs. James Fraser debacuh their new house” ficlets for @sassenachwaffles. The third location she picked was a windowsill. @kkruml as always deserves props for helping me clean this up. In this installment, she helped identify a certain creepy passage and I will forever be in her debt.

I promised this to @jack-andthestalk as her Saturday evening treat, and I’m delivering! GO ME.

In the timeline this is situated right after Shed (where they agree to buy the house) and before the handfasting/wedding ficlets. Part 1.0 (Stairs) is here and Part 2.0 (Washing Machine) is here.

Do I even need to say this is NSFW?


Five Ways Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Break In Their New Home
(Part 3.0: Windowsill)
Loss Ficlet
April 2018

I had woken in
the night, uncomfortably warm.

The air in our
room was thick and I was sticky with sweat from being curled against Jamie
under too many blankets.

Extracting myself
from Jamie’s embrace and slipping out from the bedding knotted around us, I
carefully tucked the blankets back around him. With a quiet grunt, he burrowed
his face down, fingers curling into the space where my body had been.

Opening our
bedroom window, I breathed
deeply and let the cool, damp air paint my skin a pre-midnight dark. With the
chill in the early spring air, I cooled almost immediately.  A touch of breeze wicked away the sweat that
had pricked up under the curtain of my hair. Skin dried and chilled, I balanced
myself carefully on the broad window sill, drawing my legs up and crossing them
in front of me.

I cast a look
over my shoulder.  Jamie was sound asleep
–– nothing more than a mound of slumbering muscle, breathing heavily under
layers of bedding. Resting my head against the window pane, I kept my eyes on
the sliver of his face that was visible under the duvet.

We had fallen
asleep early. He had been called into work before dawn and arrived home late. Making
dinner side-by-side, I had felt the tension fade out of him.  In its place rose a bred-in-the-bone weariness.
It was an utter exhaustion that threatened to pull him under at any
moment.  

With a voice at a
low grumble, he told me about his day as he sliced onions. His fingers were
sluggish near the blade in a way that made me want to snatch the knife from him,
lest I end up trying to do some sort of kitchen table sutures to close up an
errant thumb or forefinger.

Keep reading

Hi! please! Is it possible to get an update of the royal equerry story? I am loving it! Thank you!!

Previously:

Part I: The Crown Equerry | Part II: An Accidental Queen | Part III: Just Claire

Her Royal Highness (H.R.H.)
Part IV: Foal

On the trek
back to the palace after she had stormed out on Fraser, Claire felt her heart hammering a thunderous rebuke in her
chest.  

She replayed his words over and over again: Do ye no’ ken who ye are then? Ye canna be just the queen.

Her head mocked his accent, the bravado and confidence of his voice when he asked the question and made the statement. At the same time, her head mocked her, urging her to come up with something (anything) that would serve as evidence that she knew, with any certainty, who she was.

“What was
he thinking?” she muttered, fists balled at her side and fingernails carving
crescent moons into the flesh of her palm. 

The next
night, Claire was resolute in her stubbornness.  

Defying the urge to go for a night ride, she stood at
her window and glared down at the stable. Her mind was ablaze with all manner of condemnations. (How dare he? He doesn’t know the half of it. Bloody presumptuous Scot.)  She finger-combed her shower-damp hair and
worked it into a loose braid.  The
distant amber glow of the light on his desk clicked off.  Craning her neck, she saw a hulking silhouette
round the edge of the stables and ducked down as she heard the gentle rumble of
a motorcycle.

‘A
motorcycle,’ she thought absently, hands fluttering to cover her stomach.  

She had
never ridden a motorcycle.  

Suddenly her
thighs yearned for the mechanical power of it (a daydreamed sensation). She could almost feel what it would be like to have her back pressed
firmly against the broad chest of a sturdy teacher.  She almost could the feel the control of the machine at her fingers, the curling of them around the rubber grips while accelerating.

Summer air, thick like butterscotch on her skin. Zapping
pings of bugs hitting bare, sunset-warmed shinbones. Riding to nowhere in particular
and everywhere on their little island (her island).  Kicking up great, billowing plumes of tan dust on gravel roads and
getting lost on lanes to fields with turns and turns and turns to obscurity.  Climbing off of
the motorcycle and laughing, her searching fingers in saddle bags to produce sweating Cokes or beers or wax paper-wrapped sandwiches. Refueling and buying a
pack of cigarettes without her own face staring back at her from the newspaper
stand, letting the cashier keep the change with a smile. Anonymous. Swapping spots, snuggling
into a leather jacket that smelled of forest and man. Picking a stray auburn hair off of
a white t-shirt as she climbed onto the back of a motorcycle
.

She yanked
the curtains shut, her mouth tripping over a series of four-letter words.

The second
night, she had taken up residence by the window in her riding gear. “This is stupid,” she said aloud, just to confirm that she still had a voice. 

She made it as far as the back stairwell
before returning to her bedroom and stripping down to her underwear.  Second guessing it all –– the riding, the answer to his question, what she would say if he tried to ask again, whether she wanted him to ask again.  Sitting with a frustrated pout pulling at her
mouth, she elected not to go downstairs.

When she heard the roar of the motorcycle’s engine, she was
reasonably certain that she would never ride on either the front or back of a
motorcycle.

The third
night, she was caught up in a state affair. 

An intricate blue dress, a twisted
updo that made her temples ache and eyes water, a series of conversations
switching from French to English that made her head spin.

Frank
called that evening when she was finished, and they exchanged pleasantries. She rubbed her feet and stared at the window, knowing that with the phone call it was too late to make an appearance at the stables and to find Fraser.  After wading through the mundanities of their
daily lives (the scallops she had for
dinner and the dreadful summer cold he felt coming on
), Frank concluded
their conversation, saying, “I will see you Saturday.”  

She felt
her heart catch on something and the thoughts in her brain splash against the limits of her skull, like water sloshing in a basin. With a flat affect, she responded with the only thing that
came to mind: “Alright.”

Exhausted,
she slept face down and dreamt of summer-warm limbs on beach towels, suntan
lotion, and sweating bottles of beer with a broad-shouldered stranger. A motorcycle just down the beach and shaking sand out of canvas tennis shoes with peals of howling laughter.

On the
fourth night, she finally exited her suite via the back stairwell.  She found the stables to be eerily quiet. Riding
gloves in hand, she made her way down to the last stall where a light glowed with the promise of Fraser’s continued presence.  

The door had been thrown open
wide into the exercise yard.  Drawing her
blouse over her mouth, Claire sputtered on the unusual, odiferous cocktail of feed, hay,
dust, urine, and manure in the air.

Fraser,
shirt sleeves rolled to the elbows, was crouching at the gate of the stall,
arms draped through the pickets.  She was
about to say something, an overtly playful volley as an olive branch to apologize for her hasty departure earlier in the week.

But then what she was made her fall nearly breathless.

One of the
mares was on her side –– legs extended out in front of her, neck heaving.  The heavy, panting sounds of labor filled the
air.

“Not that
much longer, love,” Fraser crooned, a piece of straw rolling between his
fingers.  

Claire
stuffed her gloves one of her back pockets and took a tentative step towards the
gate. A little stunned and already knowing the answer, she asked, “Is the mare
in labor?”

Fraser
turned, immediately narrowing his eyes. A man she did not recognize was standing
looking at a watch with detached coolness. When he looked up he startled, mouth falling open dumbly as he made a half-bow. Claire waved
the gesture off with a casual dismissiveness.

“Yer majesty…” the man said, fingers going to
straighten his tie as he stood back to full height. “An honor, I’m…”

Jamie broke
into the introduction. “Aye.  She’s been
straining and pacing about for a few hours now.
It’s about time.”

For a
moment Fraser’s eyes traveled over Claire, inspecting but not questioning.  It was an intrusive look, searching
intimately, but she welcomed it. It drove out her indecision about coming down to the stables.

Fraser
added, “Her name is Epona. The mare.”

Something
in her wanted this to be okay
–– this awkward, silent exchange of looks and their companionable silence. 

A few days
earlier she had pushed, wanting him to ask something personal just so she could hear herself say it. And he had risen to
it.

He had
asked who she was.

She yearned
for the sickening feeling of riding in a car at high speed at reverse. The gut
churning knowledge that while she could never go back, she could reverse course.  What she wanted was to go back in time
–– to that moment where she had encouraged him to ask and he had. She would amend her response to his inquiry.

She would blurt
out the true answer: ‘Who am I? I don’t have a bloody idea
anymore, but I can tell you who I used
to be
. I liked that person.’

From Fraser’s
thoughtful expression, it was clear his inspection of her did not identify whatever it was that he was looking for. She wondered if he craved that reversing feeling, too, or if
for him this was work.  Her mind was a traffic jam as she considered
the possibility –– he was simply putting
up with her

The Queen, someone to be
appeased

The thought grabbed at her guts and refused to let go.

When she
said nothing, Fraser added, “This is Dr. Matthew Martin.  He’s an equine veterinarian.  Best in the business. At least he says.”

“Pleasure,”
Claire said blankly, looking at Dr. Martin who was mumbling something and plainly stunned into
incoherence by the near-midnight appearance of the Queen. Brows furrowed, Claire took one more tentative step towards the
gate. “Can I come watch?”

She was not
sure why she asked the question when there was absolutely nothing Fraser or the veterinarian
could have done to stop her. But it felt like an intrusion nonetheless. 

Fraser
quirked an eyebrow, lips curling into a slight smile. “Foaling can be a messy
business, ma’am.”

“And your point, Fraser?” She raised a single,
manicured eyebrow of her own. At this point, she would have sacrificed the
entire trust of land in her portfolio for a little messy business.

In a
movement so fast that she wondered if she had imagined it, Fraser licked his
lower lip and drew it in between his teeth.

He was smirking at her.

His
expression flipped back to neutrality by the time he shrugged and responded, “No
point, ma’am. Ye’re welcome to watch, if ye want.”

Giving her own
lower lip a quick swipe of her tongue, she went to the gate and stood next to
him.  For a moment she considered
crouching just so he would not be towering over him. He had her off balance and
she wanted to be on his level.  But before
she could adjust her position, he stood, dropping the piece of straw.

“It willna
be much longer, ma’am. She’s been pacin’ and walkin’ the fence line for a few
hours, ye ken. The foal’s in the right position, allantoic fluid’s been
released. Ye’re just in time.”

“How do you
know all of this?” Claire asked, not looking at him but unable to stifle the
slight tone of awe in her voice.

“It’s my
job, ma’am,” Fraser said simply.

Holding her
breath, Claire watched as the mare huffed and strained, going to her knees and
then back to her side.  

An
unidentifiable part of the foal eased from the mare. It was covered in a bluish-white,
rubbery protective layer. Claire reached for Fraser’s forearm, fingers winding around the curve of it and feeling the almost undetectable twitch of muscle there. “Oh Christ,” she
whispered.

“And I
guess I’ve seen this a fair bit… farm life, and all.”

Heart in
her throat, Claire looked down at her hand. Fraser glanced down only
momentarily, a quick flick of his eyes, before he resettled his attention on
the mare. After a beat, Claire let her hand fall casually away. The warm
bristle of his flesh was imprinted on her palm.

It felt
like an eternity and no time at all passed before the foal was born, sticky and
awkward in the straw. The slick, velvety head swiveled awkwardly. Eyes
stinging, Claire went to her knees and peered through the bars of the gate. The
mare gently licked behind the foal’s ears, earning a whimper from the newest
addition to the stables.

“The
instinct… it is… beautiful.  Nature just
fills in the blanks where no one dictates how to act, how to be.”

Fraser stayed
silent, leaning against the post and indicating with his head for the
veterinarian to leave.  For a moment Fraser
studied her: the hair flopped over her brow, the slight parting of her lips as
she watched the mare inspect her foal, the slow way she blinked when plainly amazed by something.

After a
time, when they were alone, she asked, “Will you stay the night here then,
Fraser?”

“Aye,” he
responded quietly, running a hand over the back of his neck.  “There’s somewhat messy business of expelling
the placenta. Could take a few hours. If it doesna pass, weel, it’s a different
kinda situation, ye ken?”

“Mmmm.”  The mare nudged the foal’s neck, grunting
slightly. “I want to stay. To help. I mean, if you need it.”

“Alright,”
he said, his voice carrying an entirely different tone than hers had the day
before. “I’d like ye to stay, if this is where ye want to be.”

Turning,
she looked at him.  

A riot of urges
swelled in him.  

To sweep aside the chunk
of damp curls from her forehead.  

To lick
his lips as he inhaled.  

To straighten
the collar of her blouse, pat it down so it rested flat at her neck. 

To brush
the straw from the knees of her riding pants.

“It’s where
I want to be,” she confirmed, lips curling slightly before she turned
back.  

Fraser did not turn. He thought ten thousand things in Gaelic at once.

AWSOM Powered