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All That Was Good

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This cannot be it. 

As their hands moved closer together to touch the stone, Claire’s heart was feeling a million emotions but her mind was clear with just one thing - Jamie. 

This cannot be it.

In the three years they’ve been together, neither of them could’ve known just how much they’d mean to each other, depend on each other, care for each other, let alone, love each other - so deeply and passionately that they were willing to change history if it came to that. 

This cannot be it.

“Goodbye, Claire” she felt his breath and lips in her temple as he pulled her closer to him by the waist, desperately trying to keep themselves together for as long as they could and engrain the memory of their bodies molded as one. And in the middle, was the miracle they prayed and hoped for who will never know his father and grow up with a family he deserved.

This cannot be it.

Her fingers can almost feel the roughness of the stone surface and the journey that will follow after. She wanted to turn her head and see his face one last time, beg him to release her from her promise and let her stay in this time. But time was running out. In the last seconds, Claire made her wish known again and again. 

Me. Jamie. Our Baby. Our Family. Anywhere. Anytime. Together. 

Me. Jamie. Our Baby. Our Family. Anywhere. Anytime. Together. 

Me. Jamie. Our Baby. Our Family. Anywhere. Anytime. Together. 

Claire expected the deafening buzz that usually came with the stones - but what was new was the blinding light that suddenly seemed to emit from it. She wondered if Jamie could see it since he couldn’t hear the buzz and she  got her confirmation when she heard Jamie exclaim a “What in the devil..?!” just before everything went black. 

----

The journey to the stones is never easy. It feels like you're being taken apart and then weaved back together. It really takes a toll to the body. 

Claire stirred to someone stroking her hair. Once her mind was a little bit more awake, she took a mental stock of herself. She felt whole, alive, and for some reason, she was sitting in some armchair with her head laid down on the table. 

She slowly opened her eyes, cautious just in case she got affected somehow by the last light she saw and to prepare herself to know the aftermath of this trip.

“Thank Christ!” was the first sound she heard. “Are ye alright?"

Her mind raced, she needed to respond. In another effort to finally face her reality, she lifted her, fully opened her eyes and saw the two most worried ocean eyes boring straight into hers. 

Her eyes widened at the sight before her. Impossible.

“Ja - Jamie?” she softly called out, a hand unsure to touch his face. 

“Aye, tis me, Claire. Do ye remember me? I was afraid you wouldn’t recognize me” he replied. 

“Jamie, oh my god!” her dizziness forgotten, she quickly stood up as Jamie did too and they held each other so tightly she was sure she couldn’t breath. 

She pulled away and started inspecting every part of him she could. “Are you alright? What happened?!”

“I don’t know. All I remember was I brought ye to the stones, we we’re about to touch it when a light beamed through. Next thing I knew, I woke up leaning by that shelf, wearing this clothes, and saw you passed out here.”  Jamie shared.

“So you did see the light too! I haven’t experienced or seen that before so I thought it could’ve been just for me but...here you are.” 

“Here I am” he said simply.

As their dizziness wore off and their mind became more rational, they needed to investigate fast on where and when they were. 

Claire was wearing a white sleeveless shirtwaist dress, almost similar to the one she was wearing the first time she went through the stones, while Jamie was wearing a navy blue knitted shirt tucked in light brown fitted trousers.

They were definitely not in the 1740s anymore.

They were in an old scottish cottage, though obviously renovated and restored, with most of the items inside looking museum grade. A sign hanged up wrote “Old Leanach Cottage” and below it in smaller letters were the words “Culloden Moor” .

They were at Culloden. 

Lastly, together they gravitated towards a notebook, a visitor log, and found that the year was 1948. 

They were in Claire’s time.

Stunned and a little bit confused, Jamie and Claire looked at each other as the shock passed through them. 

Impossible, indeed.

Claire and Jamie had more questions than answers and the place they currently were seemed different that what Claire was used to so both of them are pretty much out of place until they knew more about their present lives. 

“Whatever this is, whatever has happened” Jamie’s firm voice broke the ice. “We’ll figure it out together.” 

“Okay.” Claire replied. The unknowns were endless but with the strength of having Jamie by her side, there was nothing much to fear. “Of course” Claire nodded surely and then leaned her face to Jamie’s for a single deep kiss.

There’s always something that stirs between them whenever they kiss and they both smile at the fact that that feeling hasn’t gone away. Whatever they need it to be, it will be that. And right now, this kiss was a kiss of love, gratitude, comfort, and security.

Just as they were to pull away, they heard voices outside the cottage call for them. 

“Jamie, Clare, are you guys finished?” a man’s voice asked. 

Surprised by the interaction, Jamie’s first action was to protect Claire. His hands automatically reached out to his side where his sgian dubh always reside but he grasped for nothing in the air. Another reminder that they were in a different time. 

“Jamie, those voices…” 

“D’ye know them, Sassenach?” 

Claire shook her head. Her mind was swirling - the voices we’re so familiar, she was sure she knew them - but she couldn’t put a name or a face. 

“Come on, you two! Chop, chop! We still have a 3-hour ride ahead of us.” a woman’s voice followed. 

“Should we just head out and see?” she asked. Jamie shrugged in agreement, took Claire’s hand, and led them out of the cottage. 

Nothing could’ve prepared either of them for what was to happen next. They were both frozen in place as a couple turned around and in front of them is Henry and Julia Beauchamp. 

“There you are!” Julie exclaimed. “What took you so long? We thought you’re only signing the visitor’s log book”. She noticed their confused looks, and slowly reached out a hand. “Are you guys...okay?” 

Without another thought, Claire gravitated towards her parents and pulled her mother to a tight embrace and cried. 

“Mama” Claire said softly. 

“You haven’t called me that in a long time” Julie replied, hugging her daughter back. She pulled her daughter back when she felt a wetness in her shoulder. “Why are you crying?” 

Claire didn’t reply but went to her dad and hugged him just as tight.  “While I do love this,” Henry began, “I’m not sure what’s going on.” He patted her back, “Claire?”

“I’m sorry, I…” Claire started to think of an explanation while wiping her eyes and fixing herself up. “I just missed you so much”

There was so much more she wanted to say, just in case this was all a dream, but her last words summarized what was at the core of it all. 

“I know, we missed you guys too. It’s been almost a month since we got together and this is a little overdue. Do you think you can make it back the car, though? I really don’t want to miss lunch.” Henry teased. 

“Let’s go! I don’t want to be late. You know how strict Brian and Ellen are with the lunch schedule. Last time we missed it, there were hardly any food left.” Julia followed.

It was Jamie’s turn to feel more disbelief. “I’m sorry, what?” He didn’t know how we found his voice but, at the moment, his mind had  life of its on and the words came flying out. 

“What do you mean ‘what’? We’re on our way to see your parents at Lallybroch, James.”