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I woke up early the next morning for my appointment with a Dr. Grant (much to Jamie’s lighthearted chagrin.)

I still felt a little awkward around Brianna, and had privately hoped that Jay would volunteer to come along and provide constant conversation, but the girl heard the word “gynecologist” and waved Brianna and I on our way like we had the plague.

“Are you sure this isn’t a little...strange for you?” I asked Brianna as we exited the car she’d rented. 

“Yes,” she admitted. “But interesting. How many people can say they attended their own ultrasound?”

“Ultrasound?”

She looked at me. “Oh that’s right! They didn’t exist in the forties. It’s a bit like an X-ray, but it basically just uses sound waves to create an image of the baby inside. They can see if it's healthy, and even if it's a boy or girl...though I think it might be too early for that.”

“We know whether it’s a boy or girl,” I quipped.

“I dunno, with the way everything has gone cockeyed, for all we know that’s a little Brian in there, not a Brianna!”

I chuckled, but still knew, somehow, that it was a girl inside. The same girl who was leading me confidently into the clean, bright doctor’s office.

Dr. Grant was a friendly, funny older man who flirted shamelessly with my “mother,” having made the assumption himself and we didn’t bother to say otherwise. He frowned at my weight, insisting firmly that I needed to gain, but made no comment on how I came to be that way, owing I was sure to whatever Mandy had told them.

“Are you ready to see th’ wee’un?” he asked, slathering a cold jelly over the barely-there bump of my stomach.

“I think so,” I said, feeling strangely nervous.

“Ye can come closer, Mom,” he said to Brianna. “Hold your lass’s hand.”

Brianna did as he said, and I felt grateful for the contact as a sudden sound filled the room; a low, rhythmic beating.

“Her heartbeat,” I whispered, awed, feeling a sharp pang at the remembrance of listening to my other daughter’s heartbeat, what felt like a lifetime ago.

“So certain it’s a she?” Dr. Grant asked with a smile. “Might be too soon tae tell, yet. I’d put ye at right around seventeen weeks. But he or she looks bonny…have a look!”

He turned the screen around, and I could see the clear profile of a face in black and white. I tried not to look surprised, but I felt my mouth drop.

“Wow,” Brianna whispered, squeezing my hand.

I reached out, slowly, as if the image would disappear, and touched the screen. Then, just as slowly, I turned my head, seeing that same profile standing right next to me, as transfixed as I. A love of the sort I’d never felt before suffused my entire being, and I was breathless. 

“I think he or she is going tae have their grandma’s nose,” Dr. Grant said. “Don’t you?”

Poor Dr. Grant probably thought Brianna and I were crazy, the way we suddenly dissolved into hysterical laughter and tears at once. 

Dr. Grant shook his head in bemusement. “I suppose I’ll just print a couple of these out for you tae take home.”

 

With prenatal vitamins, a strict diet plan, and two copies of the sonogram in hand, Brianna and I made our way home. I had informed Dr. Grant of my miscarriage, which he murmured sincere condolences for, and he told me that without having my records, he would have to assume that my pregnancy was high risk, and that it was important for me to take it easy, and take care of myself.

“Jamie’s going to wish he’d come after all,” I said, smiling down at the sonogram. “Knowing he could have seen the baby.”

“We can have you go for another checkup before you leave,” Brianna said, then grimaced. “I feel like I should probably tell you...it was a hard birth. You’ve said before that neither of us would have likely survived if you’d given birth in the eighteenth century.”

I cradled my stomach, her words giving me a chill. “Did it have anything to do with the miscarrage?”

Brianna was silent a moment before answering. “Yes. And that...that reminds me of something else I need to tell you.”

I looked at her. “What?”

She shook her head. “I’d rather tell you and Da together, if that’s okay.”

“Alright,” I said. “Bree?”

Brianna grinned, but kept her eyes on the road. “Yeah?”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Mama. Now...I noticed something when you were changing, but I didn’t want to ask you about it in front of Dr. Grant. Is that a fucking tattoo on your shoulder?!”

I gulped. “...Maybe.”

“When the hell did you get a tattoo?! I’ve seen my mother’s back a thousand times and you never had a dragonfly tattoo!”

“Erm...yesterday.”

Brianna’s jaw dropped, and she nearly swerved the car. “You...Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! You let Jay talk you into a tattoo ?!”

When I couldn’t hide my guilty expression, Brianna gasped. 

“YOU LET MY GRANDDAUGHTER GET A TATTOO?!”

 

When we got home, (and after I was roundly scolded like a child, but promised that Mandy wouldn’t find out,) we found the house empty, but followed the sound of music outside the kitchen. And there, near the tower, was possibly the strangest sight I had ever seen in my entire life...and I had seen some very strange sights.

Jay was presumably playing an upbeat, wordless tune on her phone, while simultaneously using it to film Jamie... dancing... sort of.

They hadn’t noticed us yet, so Brianna and I stood back and watched, wide-eyed, as Jay called for Jamie to start over.

Whatever it was, it involved Jamie touching his shoulders before raising his arms above his head, all the while undulating his hips in a manner which I admittedly found intriguing, all with the most serious of expressions on his face.

“Oh my God,” Brianna whispered from next to me. “This is the best day of my life.”

“Mine too…” I said dazedly, still eyeing his hips.

“Ew, Mother…”

“What? I can’t help it!”

“Done!” Jay exclaimed, cackling with laughter. “Well done, Jammif!”

In response, Brianna and I broke into applause, and Jamie spun toward us in surprise, his cheeks darkening. “Sassenach!” he cried.

“Well done indeed, darling,” I said, still clapping. “Now would you like to explain what in the world that was ?”

“TikTok,” Jay explained, grinning almost evilly. “My life is complete.”

“You…” Brianna began. “You convinced your great-grandfather, Highland soldier, Laird of Lallybroch, Colonel Fraser...to...film a TikTok dance?”

“Yes,” Jay said satisfactorily. “Yes I did Nana.”

From behind her, Mandy shrugged. “Don’t look at me. I was somehow roped into helping teach it to him.”

“Come on,” Brianna said. “Let’s go get dinner started.”

We all turned to follow her, but I held up for Jay. “Say, could I watch that? A few...hundred times?”

“Absolutely,” Jay said, grinning and handing her phone over.

 

“Unbelievable,” Jamie whispered, stroking the outline of the baby’s face with his thumb, similarly to how I did when it was on the screen. “What a miracle, tae take a...a Photograph of a bairn while she’s still in her mother’s womb!”

“It was amazing,” I agreed. “Brianna thought perhaps we could have it done again, with you there to see.”

Jamie smiled. “Aye, I’d like that, Sassenach. Verra much.”

Brianna took a breath, taking her seat after she and Mandy finished clearing away the supper dishes. “Mama, Da? There’s something I need to tell you. I didn’t think about it until this afternoon, but you should know...and see it.”

“Sounds ominous,” Jamie said.

I looked over at Mandy, who appeared to understand what Brianna was talking about, and her expression made me a little nervous. “What is it?”

Brianna smiled and took my hand. “It’s alright. But come with me, there’s something I want to show you.”

 

Jay and Mandy stayed at the house while Jamie and I followed Brianna outside, past the tower, toward the mill. 

“Th’ mill looks in good working condition,” Jamie remarked as we passed it.

“It should,” Brianna said. “It’s been some years now, but I rebuilt it and updated it myself.”

Jamie whipped around to her, eyes wide and impressed. “Truly? On your own?”

“Well yeah,” she said with a shrug. “It’s what I do. I’m an engineer.”

“That’s incredible, Bree,” I said fondly, even if I didn’t understand what all went into rebuilding a grain mill. 

Brianna slowed, and folded her hands in front of her. “This isn’t...going to be easy to hear. Especially how...recent it is for you. About ten years ago, the church in France that used to be Le Hopital de Agnes burned down. Most of the grounds were destroyed in the fire.”

I stopped walking, feeling my legs grow weak, and might have fallen if Jamie hadn’t seen it and wrapped his arm around my waist. “No…” I whispered.

Brianna nodded sadly. “The cemetery burned. I only heard about it about a year later, when a controversial decision was made to relocate the bodies, and most of them would be in unmarked graves since so many of the gravestones were burned beyond recognition.”

My head was shaking without me even realizing it, and I tried to walk away, but Jamie held me firm. “No,” I repeated more firmly. “I can’t hear this, Brianna.”

My baby...my poor little girl. It was bad enough that Faith was laid in a grave in another country, left alone for generations. Now to hear that even that grave was lost, was unbearable.

“Mama, listen ,” Brianna insisted, grabbing my arm. “I had to do something . I went to France, I looked at the graves. And I found her.”

I stopped struggling against Jamie and stared at her. “You did?”

She nodded, smiling. “Her grave marker was scorched, but readable. It took some doing, and money, and a few called-in favors from Roger, but we managed to convince them that she was a distant relative and that we wanted her relocated to Scotland. They wondered why we cared so much about a 300 year old infant, but because of that, it didn’t really matter to them anyway. Come on.”

I looked up at Jamie, seeing my astonishment reflected in his eyes. We followed Brianna dazedly to a lone Scots pine, standing proudly at the top of a hill. Underneath was some sort of flowering bush, and there, resting peacefully on the ground, was a small grave marker.

It wasn’t the same one from France. This one had an image of St. Andrew etched on it, and read, “Faith Fraser, beloved daughter and sister.”

I fell to my knees before it, touching it gently, as I had two years ago in France. And as I had then, I reached out, and Jamie’s hand found mine at once.

“I couldn’t just leave her there,” Brianna said. “I knew you’d want her to come home.”

“You did this for us,” Jamie whispered. “Even though we were dead and gone?”

“You were never gone to me,” Brianna said just as quietly. “And I still like to think of you, somewhere, with her. And Roger, too. Watching over me.”

I leapt to my feet, releasing Jamie so that I could wrap her up in my arms. “Thank you,” I murmured.

Brianna pulled back suddenly, her eyes red. “You...I was away when you...you went. I didn’t get to say goodbye…”

“Well don’t,” I said. “Not yet, at least. We still have time.”

Brianna nodded, sniffling. “I love you, Mama.”

I yanked her back into my arms. “I love you too, baby.”

I felt Jamie wrap his arms around us both, and we simply stood there for a time underneath the pine tree, all together, at last.