Archives for the Date November 21st, 2021 2021-11-21 20:32:30



As the wind began to pick up, Jamie looked out over the water of the loch, serenely still. The sun was just beginning to rise over the hills behind him and he got to his feet, dropping the bottle of whisky that had kept him warm through the cold hours of the night.

Shoving his freezing hands deep into his pockets, his bleary eyes followed as the tip of his boot made indentations in the pale sand. Without thinking, he drew the crude shape of a heart before dashing his heel straight through the middle, obliterating it from view.

Nobody would share his sentimentality today.

As the feeling began to return to his fingers, he felt the cold, smooth edges of the pocket knife that he always carried with him. It was a token that made Jamie feel close to his father, even long after his passing, serving as a tangible connection for when he needed reassurance. The rough pad of his thumb ran across the indent of his father’s initials, B.R.D.F., and he sent up a silent prayer of remembrance.

If he hadn’t drunk more than half the bottle, Jamie might have given his next choice a little more thought. But the only thing stronger than the alcohol running through his system was the insatiable feeling of needing to be close to her, to feel her. He flicked out the sharp blade and immediately dug it into the mound of his palm. Watching as the blood chased the knife around the shape of the C that he cut into himself, he made sure that it would be deep enough to scar so that a part of her would be with him forever. She would always be his Claire, no matter the fact that in a few hours, on the other side of the world, she would become Mrs Frank Randall. Her initial carved into his skin would keep her locked away in his heart, never to be parted.

In the years to follow, he would think of that moment as rock bottom.

Before he would take his sister’s advice and seek out a therapist, someone who would help to put words to all the feelings of inadequacy and grief that had plagued him since he was a young man, Jamie was stuck. He was still young, only 30 years old, but the cloud that had been hanging above his head for the past decade had bled its poison into his nervous system, manifesting fingers that wrapped around his spine and used his limbs as though he was its own personal puppet.

Jamie Fraser was a host to his own grief.

He knew that he should have felt content. His time was spent working with his childhood best friend and he always had a hot dinner come the end of the day, courtesy of Jenny. He loved getting to spend time around his nieces and nephew, entranced by the way that they seemed to be sprinting past every milestone right before his eyes. Come night time, he would collapse into bed, sighing heavily at the thought of a day well spent and wait until sleep would take him.

But then the dreams would come.

They weren’t always bad. Sometimes he dreamt of their days in Amsterdam as he walked that one step behind her just to watch the way the wind made her sundress move like waves around her shins. He could picture the slightly sardonic smile that she always had ready, her lips curving themselves to taunt him about the lack of speed he walked with despite the length of his legs. In his sleep he remembered the sound that she made when their bodies joined after all those years of starvation, could see the look of wonderment in those whisky eyes. Could hear the whisper of his name pouring from her throat. Those were good dreams.

But the bad outweighed the good, more often than not. He would also dream about running through that fucking airport, time and time again, never quick enough to catch her. Sometimes he saw her through a wall of glass, clutching her boarding pass with fingers that had gone white from the strength of her grip. His fists would pound on the wall until it shook, like a man gone mad with need, but still she would not turn to him. She could never hear him. And he knew that if he could just get to her, make her listen, that she would have no opportunity to deny what they shared together. And they would spend the rest of their lives by each other’s side.

When he woke from the bad dreams, he would be drenched in sweat and the room would spin. A few times he had been woken by Jenny’s insistent hands shaking his shoulders, sometimes with a scared Maggie cowering in the doorframe.

“Just a nightmare, mo cridhe, dinna fash. Uncles can have nightmares too, ye ken?” Jenny would send a strained smile to her daughter before ushering her out of the room and towards her own. “Back to bed wi’ ye.”

Jenny turned back to her brother, the smile dropping from her face like a stone into water.

“Ye canna be screaming the house down, the weans will be falling asleep in class.”

“I was screaming?”

“Aye, I’m surprised the beasts aren’t bellowing in the byre wi’ the noise ye were making,” she sighed as she sat down on the edge of his bed, Jamie running his hands roughly over his face and finding them slick with sweat. “Mebbe ye should speak to someone.”

“Janet, dinna be daft,” Jamie scoffed, immediately quieting when he saw the flash of anger snap over his sister’s face.

“Then what are we tae do? Because ye canna go on like this, mo brathair,” she said with a finality that he knew better than to argue against.

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