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For a Minute There

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Boston 1954

 

I entered the house as quietly as possible. It was late and I was fully expecting another fight. No respectable mother was ever this late getting home on a weeknight. No respectable mother was away from their child period.

 

Respectable. I thought and scoffed.

 

I put my keys on the table by the door and tentatively walked into the living room. Nothing. I moved into the kitchen. Same thing. 

 

Shrugging my shoulders I headed up the stairs. The door to Frank’s office was slightly ajar and a light was glowing into the hallway. I carefully, quietly peered in through the opening and felt my shoulders relax.

 

Frank was asleep at his desk. There would be no fight tonight. Thank god.

 

I continued my journey quietly down the hall and came to a stop outside of the door with all of the colorful artwork taped to it. Quite the little Picaso I was raising. 

 

When we first discovered Bree’s talent for drawing I instantly wondered how excited Jenny would have been to share such a talent with her niece. How wonderful it would have been for Bree to have someone that she could learn from. Neither Frank nor myself had any artistic ability. 

 

I pushed the door open and headed towards the bed that held my most precious bundle. 

 

I eased myself carefully beside her so as not to wake her. I feel my heart move into my throat as it always does when I look at her sweet face.

 

“God. You are so like him,” I whispered. 

 

I brush the hair off of her forehead and feel a tear run down my face as she smiles in her sleep. Just like him.

 

I hear movement out in the hall. Frank coming out of his office and no doubt moving to the bedroom. Our bedroom.

 

I am in no mood to fake pleasantries tonight or god forbid have the fight that has been brewing all week. So I kick off my shoes and gently move Brianna over.

 

“Mama,” she murmurs. 

 

“Shhhh lovey. It's okay,” I whispered to her and I feel my heart melt as she snuggles into me.

 

Laying down beside her I breathe in her scent and slowly I drift off to sleep. 

 

xxxxx

We were walking ‘long the ocean

Together hand in hand 

When I stopped to write ‘I love you’ in the sand

And when I looked up you were standing

Ten miles out at sea

And in a sweat 

I woke up from that crazy dream

As I reached to hold you in the morning light

It was just your pillow I clung to so tight

 

We were walking on the beach. Jamie and I. We were strolling along the beach holding hands and I was blissfully happy.

 

We were together. Jamie was with me and nothing could be better. 

 

Jamie had a mischievous look on his face and broke away from me to move toward a pile of branches. I frowned as our connecting broke and jogged to catch up with him. 

 

He was in the middle of writing something in the sand with one of the sticks by the time I reached him. He moved away with the biggest smile on his face and I looked down to see what he wrote.

 

“I love ye,” it read.

 

Smiling ear to ear I pulled him down to me for a kiss. When I opened my eyes he was gone.

 

Looking around in confusion, I saw him. He was standing far away out in the middle of the ocean.

 

“Jamie!” I called. “Jamie! What are you doing?”

 

“Sassenach!” he called. And with a start I woke up, my heart racing.

 

Looking over to my left I see a mass of red curls. Jamie I think and move to snuggle into him.

 

Very quickly I realize that the body is much, much too small to be Jamie Fraser. Then it all comes rushing back to me. Culloden. Jamie. Dead. Brianna.

 

It was Brianna I was snuggling with. I was in her room. I had forgotten. Just for a minute there I had forgotten. 

 

For a minute there I thought it was you

For a minute there my prayers had come true

For a minute there I began again to live

What I wouldn’t give for just a minute there. 

 

xxxxx 

 

Five o’clock on Friday, sitting at a light

When this angel walks right by me on my right

And the cars all started honking as my feet hit the ground

Though I chased and called you never turned around

Oh the walk, the hair, the perfume were the same

How I wish he would have answered to your name

 

“Are we THERE yet, Mama!” Brianna asks again. We were currently in stand still traffic on our way to Bree’s favorite pizzeria. 

 

“Just us girls,” I had told her and she was more than excited. 

 

“This is taking forever,” she sighed.

 

“I promise they’re not going to run out of pizza, lovey. Don’t worry,” I assured her. 

 

Bree started to babble something in the back seat but I stopped hearing her. My heart all but stopped in my chest as I looked out the window to the right and see a mass of familiar red curls walking down the street. 

 

“Jamie,” I whispered.

 

He continued walking.

 

“Jamie,” I said again, louder this time. 

 

“What, Mama?” came from the back seat.

 

“Unbuckle, lovey. Come on,” I all but pull her from the back seat and throw her on my hip. 

 

“What are we DOING?” she asks giggling, thinking it a game. 

 

“JAMIE!” I yell.

 

The man in front of me continues walking. Walking just like Jamie. The same gate, same hair, same smell. I swear it's him. 

 

“JAIME!” I yelled again. The man turns just enough for me to see the profile of his face and my heart sinks. Of course I thought. Of course it's not him. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, Beauchamp. 

 

Still laughing Bree asks, “Mama, can we get pizza NOW?”

 

“Yes,” I say, breathless. “Yes, baby. We can go get pizza now.” 

 

“That was so fun!” she tells me from my arms “what game was that?”

 

“It wasn’t a game, baby. Mama just thought she knew someone for a minute there,” I tell her as we walk back to the car.

 

For a minute there I thought it was you

For a minute there my prayers had come true

For a minute there I began again to live

What I wouldn’t give for just a minute there. 

 

xxxxx

 

Tonight the stars in heaven are bright as they can be

And I swear one of them is winking down at me. 

 

It was another late night. I had spent too long in the library studying for an exam. Again. I hated the nights when I wasn’t able to tuck Bree in.

 

Though I suppose I should get used to it. Once I graduate, my life will be full of late nights at the hospital. 

 

I liked walking home. Especially on nights like tonight. The sky was so clear and the stars were beautiful. It reminded me of all of the night in Lallybroch. 

 

One star in particular is twinkling more than the others. It’s so beautiful that I can’t help but smile.

 

My own guardian angel.

 

“Hello, soldier,” I say quietly as I turn to walk up the steps to my front door. 

 

For a minute there I thought it was you

For a minute there my prayers had come true

For a minute there I began again to live 

What I wouldn’t give 

How I’d love to live

For just a minute there.