Actions

Work Header

Chapter Text

Epilogue:

Claire looks around, delighting in the way their home feels with the large Christmas tree up and glittering, an abundance of presents all around it as the children run and play.

She stands before the large fir, eyes roaming all of the homemade ornaments the girls have made in school and the fun Disney character ones they get each year. There are ornaments from vacations she'd taken her whole life, trips with Uncle Lamb, one from her honeymoon with Jamie… it was so fun to look at all of them each year.

The television screen has a fireplace on it, seeing as it's not cold enough in Georgia for an actual fire, and Christmas music softly rings out while everyone mingles about, laughing and enjoying each other's company.

Next month will be an entire year already since she and Jamie re-married, and she honestly cannot believe it. It's gone by so quickly as they settled into a new routine in life, learning how to be a family again while also dealing with her pregnancy.

Jamie, as she'd figured, had been over the moon at the news she gave him on their honeymoon.

"I have something for you, Jamie," Claire stated softly as they settled into their hotel room.

A wicked grin blossomed on his face, and she couldn't help the snort of laughter that came from her. Whacking him on the chest, she instructed him to sit down.

Her husband had a curious look on his face, obviously confused but excited by whatever she had planned.

"Aye, I dinna ken what yer wicked wee self has conjured up," he said, grabbing her by the waist and pulling her to stand in between his opened legs, "but I canna say I'm no' excited."

Rolling her eyes, she leaned down, pressing a kiss to his lips. She let it linger, but just before he could deepen it, she pulled back with a smirk. "Stay there."

Claire walked over to her suitcase, unzipping the front pouch and pulling out a small present.

"For me, Sassenach?" he asked, looking up at her. "'Tis no' what I was expecting," he chuckled, taking the present from her hands.

She joined him on the bed, scooting close to his side and resting her head on his shoulder. "Open it," she whispered.

Jamie carefully unwrapped the gift, mumbling something about how Christmas was a month ago and her marrying him today was gift enough.

She smiled softly beside him, shaking her head at how adorable he was.

Claire watched as Jamie opened his gift—a picture of the girls laughing together as they held up a little black onesie that read "New Year, New Baby… Arriving July 2021" in white writing.

She watched as his brows scrunched, leaning closer to the picture to make sure he read it correctly. "Sassenach…?"

Pointing to the gift box, she said, "There's more."

He placed the photograph down gently on her leg, a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips as he looked back at his present. Inside was a small, silver spoon and a sonogram confirming her news.

"I took a test last week," she explained, "and when it came back positive, I made an appointment with the doctor to confirm. I wanted to be absolutely certain before I got your hopes up. And… well…." She shrugged, smirking down at the picture of their newest member.

Jamie's eyes filled with tears, gift forgotten as he placed it on the bed beside him, wrapping Claire in his arms and exclaiming, "This is wonderful news!" before laughing and kissing her all over. "I havetae admit that I kent it all along, but 'tis still verra exciting to have the confirmation."

"You knew?" she asked incredulously, twisting to get a better look at him.

He laughed, leaning in to kiss her soundly. "Ye've not been late in yer courses a day since we wed, 'cept when ye were carryin' my bairns, Sassenach." His cheeks blushed, and he muttered how he hoped this didn't spoil her surprise, but she just shook her head, leaning over to kiss his cheek.

With a grin, he picked up the silver spoon from their kitchen drawer at home and began to laugh. "This isna one of our apostle spoons, mo chridhe."

Rolling her eyes, she smacked his chest. "I didn't know which apostle this one would need, so I figured this was the next best thing."

"Och," he chuckled, "'Tis alright. We'll figure it out when we get home. I'm just glad to add another spoon to the collection." He smiled, leaning in to kiss her lips again. "Just nine more tae go!"

"Don't even think about it, mister," she replied dryly, kissing him once more, their lips both tipped up into tiny smiles.

Pulling back, Jamie vowed, "She is a gift from me to you, and you to me, mo nighean donn," as his hand rested on her stomach, "just as wee Faith and Brianna are."

"She?"

"Aye," he smiled, "I feel it in my bones, Sassenach. Another wee lass."

They stayed like that, wrapped together in their wedding attire on that bed, laughing and crying for the next hour as Jamie rubbed her barely-there nine week bump. He told their baby of Faith and Brianna, crying again at the thought of how wonderful the girls would be with a little baby.

After that night, Jamie had spent the next seven months promising to be there every step of the way, no matter what.

She told him she wouldn't be asking him to run out for any late night snacks, and he vowed to buy up all the ice cream at the store each time he went shopping. And he did. Their freezer for the remainder of her pregnancy had been filled with all the flavors she could ever want, much to the pleasure of their children, too.

The doorbell ringing draws her attention from the tree and her thoughts, and Claire smiles at the knowledge of who is on the other side.

"I'll get it!" Murtagh calls, standing from the couch and walking to the front door.

Jenny comes in from the kitchen, all the girls trailing behind her—Faith, Bree, Maggie, and Kitty. "Ye're expectin' more people?"

Claire grins, knowing this surprise will shock everyone.

Murtagh opens the door, revealing John, Hector and Sophia all bundled up in their winter gear, smiling brightly at the old man.

"Sophia!" Faith and Brianna cry, rushing to the front door and motioning for the family to come inside.

"It's a madhouse in here," Claire calls, grinning as she waves them inside, "but come on in!"

Jocasta laughs from the couch as Murtagh joins her, shaking her head. "Ye've got a full house, indeed."

Claire just simply smiles, knowing this is the best Christmas they've had in a long time. Jenny and Ian normally can't fly over for the actual holiday, so having their family here just added to the joyous day.

She bounces their newest addition in her arms as the baby gurgles up at her, and Claire leans in, pressing a kiss to the tip of that tiny button nose.

Hector busies himself unloading gifts from the car while John gets Sophia out of her puffy jacket. Once the job is done, Faith and Brianna take her hand, tugging her to the kitchen and down to the playroom to join all the other kids.

Claire steps up then, handing her five-month-old over to Hector once his jacket is hung up. "Jamie will be so excited to see you guys!"

Hector beams down at the little baby, then up to Claire, thanking her for inviting them.

"Sorry we're just now making it. There was a ton of traffic on the drive down here."

She waves him off, then glances down at the little bundle in his arms. "Well, I'm glad you officially get to meet—"

"John! Hector!" Jamie calls, coming down the stairs. He'd been wrapping last minute gifts up in their bedroom, knowing the girls would be distracted in the playroom.

He wraps the two men in hugs, clapping them on the backs and thanking them for coming. "I'm sae glad ye guys could make it."

John laughs, looking over to Hector. "It's all Sophia has been able to talk about this week."

The four of them smile, and Claire thinks how fun it'll be tonight to put gifts out from Santa with their friends. John, Hector and Sophia were staying with them for the next few days, which John had felt bad about, saying they could easily get a hotel room so Jenny and her family could stay. Jamie had assured him it was fine; Jenny and her brood would all be staying with Murtagh and Jocasta, filling their house with more noise than it's probably ever experienced.

They all chuckle at Hector's dramatic eye roll, saying Sophia may not be able to communicate in complete sentences but she had plenty of toddler chattering to say about Fayhee and Breenana.

Claire smiles at the image of little Sophia trying so hard to say her daughter's names, but she clears her throat, looking pointedly at Jamie, "As I was saying," she grins with a twitch of her brows, "I'd like for you guys to officially meet Johanna Julia Fraser."

Hector bounces Johanna in his arms, while John tears up at the sight of the baby girl. They'd seen her on FaceTime, of course, but this was the first time they were meeting her in person.

"She's beautiful," John breathes, tickling her cheek with his pointer finger. "And a beautiful name," he grins, eyes shining.

When Claire and Jamie found out they were having another girl, they just knew Julia would be her middle name after Claire's mom. It was the name Jamie had wanted for both girls before this one, so she knew it was time.

When it came to her first name, however, Claire knew there was only one person she should be named after—the man who saved her father and kept him safe all those years: John.

So, Johanna she became, and she was beautiful right from the start.

Unlike her sisters, she actually managed to inherit Claire's dark hair, little ringlets already forming on her head. She has big, blue eyes that slant, though, and tiny ears that stick out just a little, exactly like Jamie's.

She is gorgeous—another perfect little mixture of the two of them.

Hector hands Johanna over to John, asking, "Do you need any help in the kitchen?"

Smiling, Claire takes his arm, leading him to the kitchen after assuring Jamie and John were fine with the baby.

{************************}

Later that night, after the entire family had eaten and exchanged gifts, Claire finds herself upstairs.

Everyone had gone home, John's family downstairs conducting their own nighttime routine to get Sophia to bed so Santa could come.

The house was blanketed in a still quietness that she hasn't experienced over the last few days with the craziness of the holiday.

Now, however, all the lights are off in their bedroom, save for a lamp on Jamie's bedside table and the white lights on the Christmas tree in the corner of their room.

Bree and Faith are at the end of the bed, watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, laughing along with all the best parts. Claire is propped against the headboard, feeding Johanna as she and Jamie talk quietly.

"Today was amazing," she says, smiling down at their baby.

Jamie grunts his agreement, smiling over at her. "'Twas. I'm sae glad Jenny and Ian could come this year."

She nods, knowing that had been the best gift of all for Jamie this holiday season.

Geillis and Dougal had flown to Scotland last week to visit Jamie's other uncle, Colum, but she knew they'd be getting together with them once they returned. She was excited to see Geillis and get the whisky she just knew the couple would bring back.

"Did ye talk to Joe today?"

"Mm," she hums, "he called this morning before everything got too crazy. He has to work in the morning for a little while, but then he'll be home with Gail and their families all day."

"Good," Jamie smiles, leaning over to press a kiss to Johnna's foot that was covered in her red and green plaid onesie.

When she finishes eating, Claire removes her from her breast, handing her over to Jamie to burp.

Sitting back with a content sigh, Claire fixes her shirt and smiles down at the girls, telling them it's almost bedtime.

"But I'm not tired," Brianna whines, turning to look at her parents.

Claire glances between them, then the window, sighing. "Well, I guess Santa Claus just can't come then. Poor Sophia will miss out on getting presents in the morning all because you girls didn't go to sleep."

She tries her best to hide her grin, she really does, but Brianna's eyes widen so comically that it takes all her self restraint. "No, Mama! Sophia needs presents!"

Claire smiles, shrugging one shoulder. "Well, you better go to bed on time, then."

She flicks her eyes over to Faith who is grinning as well. She knows Faith no longer believes in Santa, but as any older sister does, she plays along for the fun of it, letting her little sister believe for just a little bit longer.

Claire knows this will probably be the last Christmas that Brianna still believes in the jolly old man, but at least they'll have a few more years of Santa magic with Johanna.

"Weel," Jamie says, clearing his throat and pressing pause on the movie. "Before ye lasses get tae bed, yer mam and I have one more present for ye."

Faith and Bree both perk up at that, sitting on their knees expectantly and looking over to their parents.

With a grin, Jamie hands Johanna back to Claire and slips from the bed. Bending down, he slides out the gifts from under the bed and hands them to their daughters.

There are squeals of excitement accompanied by, "Thank you!" as they rip into their presents.

Johanna's little blue eyes widen at the sound of the paper tearing, her unsteady little head bobbing as she watches her sisters.

Faith pulls out a pair of new ballet slippers with a gasp, as Brianna tears up over her new riding boots. "These are the ones I saw last month!" she squeals, tossing them to the floor to scamper up the bed and wrap her arms around Jamie's neck.

Brianna pulls back, hoping from the bed and sitting on the floor to slip her new boots on her feet.

Faith smiles broadly, climbing over to kiss Jamie and Claire on their cheeks. "Thank you both!" she says, kissing Johanna's cheek for good measure. "Aren't they pretty, JoJo?" she asks, holding the slippers in front of the baby's face. Johanna's hand reaches out, trying to grasp whatever this new object in front of her is.

Faith giggles, pulling them back and pressing a tiny kiss to Johanna's nose. She crawls back to the end of the bed, gently trying on her new shoes to make sure they fit. "They're beautiful!" she cries, studying them carefully.

Claire beams at their daughters, letting them enjoy their new shoes for a few more moments. She presses kisses to Johanna's head, inhaling her baby scent and letting it wash over her.

She looks over to Jamie, smiling even wider when she catches his eye. "I'd say they like their gifts."

Jamie laughs, agreeing. "Alright, lasses, let's finish the movie and then head tae bed, ken?"

Brianna scurries up onto the mattress again, stretching out on her stomach while Faith settles in between Jamie and Claire, one hand holding Johanna's for the rest of the film.

When Kevin's family is finally all reunited, Jamie clicks off the television and the girls scamper over to Faith's room. They'll be sleeping in there together tonight, and Claire knows they'll be up far later than they should, giggling and predicting what Santa will bring them in the morning.

With a smile, she helps tuck the girls in, then carries a now asleep Johanna to her nursery, changing her diaper and settling her in for the night.

{*****************************}

Once they are sure the girls are asleep, Jamie and Claire make their way downstairs.

"Yours already asleep?" Claire asks Hector and John who are waiting for them in the living room, sitting together on the couch.

John snickers, unwinding his arm from around Hector's shoulder and standing as he says, "It's much easier to get one down than three."

Jamie walks over to the bar, pouring them each a whisky while John, Hector and Claire pull out all the hidden gifts to put out from Santa.

John and Hector had put all of Sophia's in large, black garbage bags and left them in the back of their car, while Claire had stuffed presents for all three of her girls in every closet possible over the last few months.

Once it's all pulled out, and the living room a complete mess, the four adults spend the next four hours drinking and setting up Santa.

Claire designated spots for each child's gifts to go: Faith and Brianna's on the couch and coffee table, Johanna's on one armchair, while Sophia got the loveseat.

"They're going to flip in the morning," Hector declares, pulling out a giant, plush stuffed unicorn and setting it on the love seat.

Jamie chuckled, taking a sip of his whisky before pulling out more gifts from everything he and Claire had purchased. There were clothes, and books… iTunes gift cards, new headphones, and all the latest toys and gadgets their girls could ever want for.

Claire glances over, laughing as she watches Jamie shake his head, muttering something about how they won't need anything for the next five years.

"Sure they will," she jokes, "they'll be over this stuff within six months." She turns to look at him, hands on her hips. "And besides, you're one to talk." Her brows raise in a pointed look. "Weren't you the one spoiling them to no end in North Carolina last year?"

"Ah," Jamie scoffs, waving her off with a smirk, his ears turning red as he pulls out more presents, effectively avoiding her question.

John laughs, taking out a Barbie jeep and three new Barbies for Sophia. "This one better still be into Barbie for the next five years at this point."

Claire and Jamie both snicker, assuring him she will be. "Barbies will be in your house for the next decade, my friend," Jamie tells him, laughing heartily as he pulls out a barbie from his stack as well. "See!"

As the night progresses, the whisky flows and settles in their stomachs, making their antics even more ridiculous.

John and Hector had bought Sophia a pink electric ride bumper car, and once John retrieved it from the car, all bets were off.

"Me first!" Claire laughs, the whisky heating her face as she climbs into the child sized car. She's only had two full drinks, but the effects are hitting her nonetheless. She hasn't had alcohol in this large of quantity since before she was pregnant, hell, in years, so she knows she doesn't need anymore than this.

Her knees are up to her chest, but she grabs the steering wheel anyway, nodding in Hector's direction where he is putting batteries in the remote control. "Let 'er rip!"

Hector laughs, snapping the batteries in place and turning it on. The little car lights up, and Claire squeals as Hector drunkenly moves the car around the living room with the remote.

Claire laughs, raising her arm and twirling it around like she's at a rodeo as Hector moves her car around the couch and back to where the others are standing, laughing uncontrollably at the sight.

When the car comes to a stop, Claire tumbles out of it, crawling over to Jamie as she giggles. He helps her stand, but with a peck to her cheek, says he's next. He's far too large to fit in the car designed for toddlers, but he maneuvers it somehow, sitting criss-cross on top of the car's seat, back hunched over so he could hold on to the sides.

Hector gears up the remote again, but the weight of Jamie only allows the toy to move halfway across the living room before it stops, causing them all to laugh.

John sets his drink down on the coffee table, dashing over to Jamie and pushing him off the car. "My turn!" he exclaims, climbing in much the same as Claire did.

Hector guides his husband around via the remote, everyone practically in stitches. Once John has had his turn, Claire tells Hector to climb in. She moves the car around with Hector atop it, while Jamie continues assembling a doll house for the girls and John takes the tags off of some clothes he'd gotten for Sophia.

"Uh-oh," Hector says, chortling as he crawls out of the car. He's on his hands and knees, and Claire joins him in the same position, roaring with drunken laughter as she tries to shush her friend.

"Shhh," she laughs. "What's wrong?"

"I think we broke the car!"

She bursts out laughing all over again, rolling onto her back as Hector does the same. He holds the remote up, fiddling with it. The car makes a run down sound, barely moving two inches across the floor before puttering out.

"If you broke our child's toy before she even got to play with it, Hector Grey, I swear…" But before John can finish his threat, he's on the floor with them, laughing and carrying on about the bumper car.

"Okay, okay, alright," Claire says, trying to catch her breath. She sits up, grabbing someone's whisky from the coffee table and taking a sip. "Mm," she says, straightening her shoulders and trying to look serious. "We've been at this for hours, and drinking just as long, boys. We need to wrap this up so we can manage at least a few hours of sleep before the girls come barreling in."

With a murmured agreement, John and Hector stand. Jamie comes over with a smirk on his face, reaching out to help Claire stand. He's the most sober out of all of them, but that's really not saying much as he sways on his feet as well, wrapping his arm around Claire's shoulder.

"Ye've gotten a lot o'stuff fer the lasses," he slurs, pressing a kiss to her hair. He swings his arm from around her shoulder, stretching it out for her to take.

She does, and he spins her around as if they're dancing, causing her to laugh.

Before she knows it, the four of them are dancing in the living room, eating the cookies the girls left out for Santa and washing it down with more whisky.

Once all the gifts have been set out and put beautifully on display, Claire sits on the living room floor, admiring their work while Jamie fetches her a glass of water.

They all sit side by side on the floor, unable to fit on the couches due to the amount of Christmas presents on display, and finish their cookies.

"Who's going tae fix the bumper car?" Jamie asks, breaking the silence.

They all start to laugh again, Hector leaning back on his elbow as he looks sheepishly over at John.

John grins, standing on wobbly legs to try and tinker with it.

After another half hour, John has the toy car back in working order, and he places it on the ground next to the loveseat for Sophia to find in the morning.

"Well, boys," Claire announces, pressing on Jamie's knee to help her stand. "I think our work here is done." She gives a little salute to them all, swaying where she stands as she declares it time to get some sleep. It's a little past one in the morning at this point, and she knows the girls will be up and ready to go around eight if they stick to their normal wake-up routine.

They set the empty cookie plate on the side table, and Jamie takes a few swigs of the milk, before they head their separate ways—Jamie and Claire upstairs, while John and Hector quietly make their way to the basement.

As Claire checks on the girls, seeing the two oldest are fast asleep in Faith's bed together, and Johanna is snoring away in her crib, she's once again thankful that her children can sleep through anything.

{***************************}

The next morning, well, a few hours later, honestly, Faith and Brianna come bounding into Jamie and Claire's room.

7:35, just a little earlier than Claire predicted. She'd woken up about an hour ago to pump and dump, assuring the alcohol from last night wasn't still in her system all these hours later, before she crawled back into bed with Jamie, soaking up the last little bit of warmth from her husband before the madness of the day began.

Faith is on Claire's side, while Brianna climbs onto Jamie's lap, bouncing on him to wake him up.

Jamie grunts, the effects of their late night whisky still lingering as he smiles up at Brianna. "Can we help ye lasses?"

The girls giggle, Faith bouncing on the balls of her feet as she gently tugs on Claire's covers. "Santa came!"

"He did?" she asks, "I thought that was next week."

Brianna explodes into a fit of giggles, telling her parents to stop being so silly. She hops off of Jamie's lap, pulling on his hand. "Daddy, come on!"

They stumble from the bed, little hands dragging them out of the room. "Wait, Bree!" Faith shouts, stopping her sister at the top of the stairs. "We have to get JoJo first!"

With a sigh, Brianna concedes, tugging Jamie back down the hall toward the baby's room.

She's just now waking up, but being the one who wakes up happiest in the house on most mornings, Johanna is all gummy-smiles as she sees her whole family greeting her this morning.

Faith and Bree's matching red and green plaid nightgowns swish around them as they bounce up and down, telling Johanna that it's Christmas morning and that Santa came to visit last night.

Claire quickly changes Johanna's diaper, ushering everyone out of the room and down the stairs, knowing she's got about thirty minutes before Johanna will be wanting her breakfast.

Holding on to the railing, both girls stumble down the stairs in their excitement, squealing with delight as they see their new toys and gifts displayed on the couch.

Santa had labeled each girl's section of gifts so they bypass Sophia's and go straight to their own, instantly rummaging through the new clothes, holding them up to their bodies, then tossing them down to pick up the next new item.

Brianna, hurricane that she is, tears through everything, messing up the display to make sure she touches each new present. Faith, however, scans over it all with her eyes, a giant smile on her face as she takes in each gift. After surveying it all, she gingerly picks up each item, inspecting it with a shimmer in her blue eyes.

"Gooood morning!" John calls, bursting into the living room from the kitchen, Sophia on his hip.

Faith and Brianna squeal with delight, hopping up to greet Sophia. They each take one of her chubby hands once John sets her down, leading her over to her pile of toys.

"Look, Sophia!" Brianna calls, holding up the stuffed unicorn. "A unicorn!"

Sophia's eyes light up at all the new toys, giggling to herself as she touches it all.

"Alright, lasses," Jamie says, tapping his legs. "Let Sophia look through her gifts while ye finish going through yers."

Faith and Brianna nod, bouncing back over to their piles, settling on the floor to change Barbie clothes and inspect the new doll house, all the while chattering excitedly to each other about every new object they came across.

While the girls are preoccupied, Jamie now on the floor with them playing with the new Barbie dolls, Claire shows Johanna some of her new things. Being only five months old, there wasn't as many exciting toys to get like the other girls, nor would she remember it, but Claire and Jamie were sure to get her plenty of toys to help with her development.

"Look, baby," she croons, holding up a new onesie. "Santa brought you some clothes!" She stacks all of the new outfits together, setting them in a neat pile on the coffee table so that she's able to sit in the chair.

Bending down, she shows Johanna the new sit-me-up chair they'd gotten for her. She can sit in it, letting her legs kick all the do-dads at the bottom that crinkle and make all sorts of noise. "Isn't that exciting?" Claire asks, Johnna's little hands reaching out for the butterfly on the chair that crinkles when you touch its wings.

Sitting back with a smile on her face, Claire kisses Johanna's chubby cheeks. She starts to mewl and squirm, so Claire pulls down her tank top just enough so the baby can get her breakfast, the navy, woolen cardigan she'd tossed on before coming downstairs resting by her sides.

With a sigh, Claire watches all the girls playing with their new toys as Johanna drinks her milk, and Claire smiles, loving this far too much.

The heat is on, blessedly warming the house, as Jamie stands to fetch the adults all a coffee from the kitchen.

They all sit for a while, John in the chair beside Claire, watching as Sophia babbles about all of her new things, holding up each item to show him, then over to Hector who is laying on his stomach beside her.

Jamie is back, passing the coffees out before getting back on the ground with Faith and Brianna, discussing with each of them all of their new toys that they show him, a beaming smile upon his face.

"Who's hungry?" Hector asks, hopping up from the floor. "I'll make biscuits!"

{**********************}

Once Johanna finishes eating, Claire hands Johanna to Jamie, then makes her way into the kitchen to help Hector.

They work together, Claire making eggs and waffles, shooing Hector out so he can enjoy Christmas morning with Sophia.

After another twenty minutes, she corrals everyone into the kitchen to eat before all the girls are stampeding back into the living room to play with their new toys.

Hector, sneaky thing that he is, had set up Santa presents for all of the adults on the kitchen counter while he made breakfast. He's gifted John with a new chess set, Jamie with a set of books they'd been reading and discussing together in North Carolina, and for her, he'd typed up all his favorite recipes and put them in a little cookbook.

So, while the girls play in the living room, the adults set up shop in the kitchen, Jamie and John opening up the new chessboard on the kitchen table.

Claire props the door between the kitchen and the living room open so she can keep an ear out for the girls, but makes her way back over to the sink to finish washing the dishes.

Hector offers to help, but she waves him off, telling him to go relax with the guys since he did most of the work this morning getting breakfast ready.

With a soft smile, Claire watches Jamie at the kitchen table, Johanna in his big arms. He leans down, kissing the top of the baby's head while laughing at something John said.

She shakes her head, focusing back on the dishes before she tears up at the sight before her. A sight she never thought she'd have again, but here she is, a year and a half later, watching her husband hold their newest daughter and talking with friends.

"Sassenach?" he calls, apparently having stood up from the table and made his way over to her.

Jamie wraps his arms around her waist, and she glances over to the kitchen table to see that John is now holding his namesake, cooing at her and blowing kisses in her direction.

"Ye alright?"

"Mm," she sighs with a soft smile tugging at her lips, "I'm perfect."

She turns in Jamie's arms, wrapping her own around his shoulders. She leans in, pressing a kiss to his lips, then another one, two, three pecks before grinning up at him. "Merry Christmas, Jamie."

"Merry Christmas, mo nighean donn."

"I love you."

"I love ye, too, Sassenach."

With one more final kiss, Jamie pulls away, tapping her on the ass as she turns around to finish drying the cookie sheet.

She giggles, shaking her head as she places the towel down beside the sink.

Biting her lip as she tries to contain the beaming smile on her face, she makes her way to the living room with the guys, everyone joining the girls where they're still playing with all their new items.

Jamie turns on Home Alone, and everyone settles in wherever they can find a spot—Johanna is in her new seat, gurgling happily at all the new sounds she's discovering her toy can make. Faith has dumped out her new puzzle onto the coffee table and is attempting to put it all together, while Brianna is pushing her baby doll around the living room in the stroller she'd gotten. Sophia is sitting happily in her bumper car, not going anywhere, just content to be in it with a smile on her face.

Chuckling, Claire stands, dashing to the kitchen to grab the last of the Christmas cookies they'd yet to finish off and brings them back out to everyone.

John is in the chair that occupied Sophia's presents this morning before she pulled them all to the floor, and Hector is at his feet, silently showing Sophia more toys and talking softly with her.

Climbing back onto the couch with Jamie, Claire lets her feet dangle over his legs, her back against the arm of the couch. She smiles over at him when he catches her gaze, his own softening.

"What is it, Sassenach?" he whispers, not wanting to disturb everyone else.

She shakes her head, inhaling sharply as she tries to speak around the lump in her throat. "I'm just really happy."

"Aye," he smiles, leaning over to kiss her cheek. "So am I, mo chridhe, so am I."

And with that, they spend the rest of their Christmas morning watching as Kevin tricks the bad guys, eating cookies, playing with toys, and being happier than she ever thought possible.

She's safe in her home, with her family, and enjoying the best Christmas ever… so far.

{********************************}

There we have it… it's officially over now! Please let me know what you thought.

Once again, I am *so* thankful to everyone who gave this story a chance. If you haven't already, please feel free to check out my other OL stories if you'd like! I have a four part fic of Fergus going through the stones with Claire ("Coming Home") and two one shots that are basically just Claire and Jamie banging on the ridge hahah