He had fallen asleep while reading. Again.
John Grey opened his eyes and saw the book resting in his lap, still open to the page he was on. He had taken to reading books from Jamie’s library whenever he visited Fraser’s Ridge. Most nights when he stayed, Jamie and him would try to find time at night to have a drink in the library and at the end of the evening, he would pick a book to read in his room before going to sleep.
Last night while they visited, John had noticed this book out on one of the tables, which usually meant that Jamie had been looking at it recently.
After a few rounds of chess, Claire had come into the room and announced she was going upstairs. She came to stand by Jamie’s chair and placed a hand on his shoulder as she inquired to John as to whether he wanted anything before she retired. He assured her that he had everything he needed.
“As the first to test out the newly completed guest room upstairs, I am honored. I feel confident it will be a most comfortable night, indeed.” He told her and she nodded and smiled at him in response. She squeezed Jamie’s shoulder and he looked up at her as she now directed her attention to him.
“Since we will all be on the second floor tonight, I think we will be warm enough with just the fires in our rooms. Will you be sure to put this one out before you come to bed?” She nodded towards the hearth next to them.
Jamie reached for her hand on his shoulder, “Dinna fash, mo nighean donn, I will take care of it.”
They exchanged a look that implied they were sharing a common thought. John, of course, did not understand the meaning behind it and felt momentarily that they had forgotten he was there. To be honest, he was quite used to feeling left out when Jamie and Claire were in a room together.
Jamie brought her knuckles to his lips for a chaste kiss. She smiled lovingly at him and looked relieved as if the kiss was actually some kind of hidden promise he was making her. When he released her hand, she let her knuckles graze briefly across his cheek before turning to John again.
John had been watching their hands intently and jerked his eyes up awkwardly when he realized that Claire had turned back to him.
John stood and bowed quickly, “Madam Fraser.”
Jamie stood as well as Claire turned her back to them and walked out.
John sat down and looked over to see Jamie remain standing and watching Claire’s retreating form until she had gone out of sight after the first few steps on the stairs. John cleared his throat to remind Jamie that it was his turn to move in their game.
Jamie straightened his shoulders, sat down, and shook his head slightly to re-focus his attention. As a semi-regular visitor of Fraser’s Ridge, John had many times been a witness to Jamie’s frequent spouts of distraction whenever Claire was around.
If John and Jamie were on the porch, Jamie was almost always clocking Claire’s whereabouts with his eyes. Whether she was in the garden or doing laundry, if Claire was anywhere within Jamie’s peripherals, he was watching her.
Once, they had been having a discussion in his office when Jamie cocked his head to the side as if he had heard something. Before John could ask, Jamie had smiled, stood up, and gone into the hall. Claire had arrived back home from a day of collecting herbs in the woods. Jamie had heard her voice before she even made it to the front steps. Apparently, Jamie Fraser had some kind of sixth sense when it came to his wife. John had watched as Jamie reached up to pick a twig from her hair, gathered her into his arms, and kissed her deeply, almost knocking the basket out of her hands. She smiled comfortably at him in a way that made John assume this was the normal greeting she received when having been away all day.
Yes, John had witnessed these moments many a time, but he still felt that low sense of jealousy deep in his core every time.
With Jamie and John both now focused back on their game they were soon finished. John grabbed the book from the table while Jamie stayed to smother the fire.
Hours later and now awake, John looked again at the book in question. This particular book was in Latin, which John could not read. This detail did not matter, in fact, because the real reason John picked up books from Jamie’s library was actually because he had found that Jamie liked to write in his books.
John, always wanting to feel closer to Jamie, found great enjoyment in seeing his friend’s notations in the margins. Most of the time, they were just short thoughts which didn’t make sense to John if the book was not in a language he understood. Nevertheless, he felt closer to his friend after seeing a book through his eyes.
John stared down at the page which only had two markings on it. The first marking was simply one of the Latin words circled and in the margin Jamie had written, “femur”. Presumably, it was a translation that Jamie had felt the need to note. The second marking was a sentence at the bottom of the second page that was underlined. In the margin, Jamie had written, “Ask Claire”. (This was a note that came up at least twice in every book John had seen so far.)
The sentence in question continued to the next page so John turned the page to see if there were any more notes. In the top margin was a note written in Claire’s handwriting. It was a quick explanation of something to do with muscles in the leg. In such a small space, Claire had condensed the explanation into short phrases that didn’t make sense to John.
Again, this was something that John had seen several times: a notation from Claire that was always short and never seemed to make any logical sense but obviously Claire and Jamie had a shorthand with each other that she was able to write the least amount possible and knew Jamie would understand.
Clearly, it was some kind of medical book and John wondered if Jamie was reading it in order to better understand what Claire does or if Claire had gotten the book and Jamie was translating it for her.
He suddenly remembered a time not too long ago when he had been staying at the ridge and couldn’t sleep due to a massive headache and had found his way down to Claire’s surgery to see if he could find something to relieve the pressure in his head. While downstairs, he heard voices and peeked into a doorway to see Claire curled up in Jamie’s lap. Her eyes were closed peacefully and her head was tucked intimately into his neck with a hand running patterns on his chest. Jamie had one arm around the back of her neck and his fingers were playing with the ends of her hair. The other hand held a book that Jamie was reading aloud to Claire.
Thinking back on it now, John thought about how he had stood there listening to Jamie’s rough voice and imagined what it would be like to hear that voice read to him as he drifted into sleep.
John yawned and closed the book and set it aside. He stood up from the chair to tend to the fire in his room before settling to properly go to bed. Just as he was about to take off his pants, he heard a noise that sounded like it was coming from outside. He turned to his open window and walked over to it. He looked down at the ground surrounding the house and couldn’t see anything. He was just about to walk away when he heard voices.
Sticking his head out the window, he turned his ear to the sound. He distinctly heard a deep and low voice: Jamie. Turning now so that his face was towards the sound, he saw the window open that was attached to Jamie and Claire’s room. Guess I’m not the only one still awake, he thought to himself.
Just then, Claire appeared in the window. Actually, her body appeared and was plopped down onto the ledge of the open window.
John saw two things at once: he saw Jamie’s arms wrapped around her back and he saw Jamie’s face plastered against Claire’s. Before he had much time to process this sight, Jamie’s face broke free and John watched as his head lowered down his wife’s body.
The next thing he knew, John was seeing Jamie’s red hair between Claire’s legs. Claire had both of her hands gripping the window ledge below her as John saw Jamie grab a creamy white thigh in one large hand and prop it up. John couldn’t quite see that far into the window, but he assumed her leg was now on top of Jamie’s shoulder.
John watched as Claire looked down at the top of Jamie’s head and sighed. He saw Jamie’s face move across the inside of her thigh and judging from the second, much louder, sigh that Claire let out, he was kissing the skin there.
He watched intently as Jamie’s fingers gripped her thigh and then grazed upwards to move her shift up higher so he could get his face closer to her center. As soon as Jamie’s face disappeared underneath the fabric, Claire tilted her head back and let out a deep sigh.
John was absolutely frozen. On some level, he knew he was intruding on something clearly not meant to be seen by him. However, he was completely transfixed.
Claire leaned back slightly into the open air and as her breathing increased, her back beginning to arch. John wondered if she was scared to fall which then led John to think about how often Claire and Jamie engaged in such risky activities. Did they not fear that someone would see or hear them out in the open like that? Immediately after this question, John realized the answer was that they probably did know that was a possibility. They just didn’t care.
John could not see much of Jamie save for the top of his head and his hand which was wrapped tightly and reached around almost her entire thigh. John allowed himself to wonder for a moment what that large hand would feel like on his thigh.
The hand in question moved up and down, caressing her skin. His hand then grasped her hip bone and if John had been able to look at anything else, he would have seen Claire’s lips part and her hands tighten their hold on the ledge. He didn’t have to look at her, though, to hear the long moan she let out.
John nearly lost his breath when Jamie followed her moan with a sound of his own. Nuzzled deep between her thighs, Jamie seemed to groan into her but the sound was low and muffled. John might have even thought he imagined it except for the fact that Claire shuddered deeply at the same time he heard it. John felt himself shudder just thinking about how Jamie’s moan had probably vibrated through Claire’s entire body.
She was sighing with almost every breath now, with small moans intermixed every few moments. Her back was continuing to arch but she was struggling to move much due to being in such a precarious position.
“Jamie—” she said breathily while her body reacted naturally by trying to roll her hips. She clearly had to force herself to stay still for fear of falling backwards into nothingness.
John was surprised and not surprised to see that Jamie seemed to understand exactly what Claire was saying she needed. He immediately stood up and wrapped one arm around her back to hold her between the shoulder blades. The other hand went to replace his mouth between her legs.
“There, mo ghraidh.” Jamie said into her neck. Claire was able to release her hold on the ledge beneath her and moved her arms out beside her to grip the edges of windowsill next to her. This new position allowed her to roll her hips against Jamie’s hand.
Finally able to move as her body wanted, Claire let out a long and satisfied moan. Jamie suckled at her neck, going from one spot on the far side of her neck and moving to suck on the column at the center of her throat. She leaned her head back to give him more room and he began to suck on the exposed skin greedily.
John was leaning so far out of the window that he, too, might be in danger of falling but he didn’t even notice. As he watched Jamie’s lips and tongue eagerly lap at his wife’s neck, John felt himself swallow a lump in his throat imagining those lips doing the same to him.
A small part of his brain recognized that if Claire suddenly decided to turn her head, she would see him hanging out of his window watching them. He tried to connect with that thought and convince himself to go back inside. He might have done it, too, if it weren’t for what happened next.
Halting the suckling for a second, Jamie lowered his head as far as he could into the top of her shift, pushing the fabric out of the way to get his mouth into her cleavage. John watched as Jamie’s tongue poked out of his mouth and he pressed it right in the valley between her breasts. He then dragged his tongue in a tortuously slow line all the way from between her breasts, up her sternum, between her collar bones, into the little dip at the bottom of her throat, and then all the way up her throat until he reached the bottom of her chin.
Claire, for her part, lifted her chin to help him create the longest line possible and when he reached the end, she smiled with all of her teeth and choked out a laugh. She bit her bottom lip and moaned deeply a moment later when Jamie dipped back down and repeated the line using the scruff on his jawbone. He finished his teasing with another kiss on her neck and she smiled again.
Just watching that, John practically moaned.
Jamie released her neck and Claire lowered her head so their lips could meet. The two of them once again knowing exactly what the other wanted. Their lips seemed to align perfectly and they both moaned into the kiss. They held the kiss for so long that John actually began to wonder if they would pass out from lack of oxygen. When they did finally release each other’s mouths, they both were panting loudly.
Claire moved her hips in a quick and hard motion, seemingly growing impatient with whatever Jamie was doing, or not doing, between her legs.
“Please.” She said into his mouth.
He kissed her again and replied, “How many do ye want, Sassenach?”
Without pause, Claire looked him directly in the eyes, “Three.”
John had the briefest of seconds to be confused and then he saw Jamie smirk at her and make a thrusting motion with his hand between her legs. The result of this maneuver made Claire cry out and slam her eyes shut. Jamie, pleased with her reaction, smiled against her open mouth and began giving light thrusts with his arm.
Ah…of course…three fingers…John realized to himself, feeling foolish and slightly embarrassed at his small moment of confusion. He blamed the absurdity of what he was currently witnessing for his brief ignorance. He felt a blush creep into his face at the realization that he now knew exactly what Jamie’s hand was doing.
Claire was still panting against Jamie as they tried unsuccessfully to continue to kiss each other. Neither of them had enough air in their lungs to accomplish this task. Moments later, after another large back arch from Claire, Jamie let out of groan of his own.
He growled against her mouth, “Christ, Claire.” He had to pause his thought as he let out a deep breath.
There weren’t many times that John would hear Jamie call his wife by her name. Most of the time, he called her Sassenach. From his understanding, Sassenach was a rude way of calling someone an outsider. At least, that’s how it came across every time he heard someone use it. That is, everyone except Jamie. When Jamie called Claire by the name Sassenach, it was different. Maybe it was the way he said it, usually looking at her with oceans of love beneath his stare and a tiny lift of one side of his mouth into a smile. Maybe it was the sweet tone of his voice when he said it that made it seem more like a declaration of love than a taunt. Maybe it was, like so many other things, simply something that was understood between the two of them and nobody else.
If he didn’t call her Sassenach, he called her any number of affectionate Gaelic phrases. John had looked some of them up one time and found mostly variations of things like, “my love” and “my heart” and “my own”. What John wouldn't give to hear Jamie call him something with that level of affection in it.
The few times John had heard Jamie say “Claire” was when he was introducing her to someone or when he was referring to his wife while in conversation with someone else. I guess he could now add “while in the throes of passion” to that mental list.
“I canna hardly breathe with how good ye feel around my hand.” Jamie gasped against her lips. He proved his point by taking several shaky breaths as Claire continued to grind against his hand, letting out loud sighs of her own.
“I keep thinking about how good ye felt against my mouth…how ye always taste like heaven, mo nighean donn. Lord, I want to open my mouth wide and let myself drown in ye. Plant myself between your legs and bury my face in your silk and never come up for air again.”
Wide eyed, John stood and listened as Jamie poured these erotic declarations into Claire’s smile. He felt his own breathing speed up as Jamie continued, “Aye, and how good I know you feel around my cock.”
Claire’s eyes snapped open and fixed pointedly onto Jamie’s and when she responded, John just about fell out of the window.
“Then why don’t you stop thinking about it and get inside me?”
If John was not in such close proximity to them, he would have gasped out loud. He did tighten his own grip on the edge of the window and found that his palms were sweating.
Jamie moaned his approval of her words before he roughly shoved his lips against hers to kiss her fiercely. He released her between the legs and she let out a deep sigh. He brought her body to a more upright position again so she could keep herself steady while he quickly undid his breeks and pushed them down just enough to free himself.
John, too far gone to stop watching now, leaned as far forward as he dared as he shamelessly tried to catch a glimpse between Jamie’s legs but Claire’s body was blocking most of it. John wished briefly that he could see through walls.
After only a moment, Jamie was apparently ready, and grabbed Claire again. She wrapped both legs around his waist and guided his hips between her legs. Jamie wrapped one arm around her back and the other disappeared between them as he lined himself up.
John held his breath and waited.
Realizing that Jamie was pausing, he looked up to see if something in their faces could explain the hesitation. Jamie was not looking down at what he was doing but was looking instead at Claire’s face. Her eyes were closed tightly and her lips were parted just a bit. Her cheeks all the way down to her chest were flushed with pink. Her arms, still out to her side as she held on to the sides of the windowpanes, were shaking slightly in anticipation. She opened her eyes, perhaps also wondering why he was pausing.
John’s heart pulled painfully as he thought that Jamie seemed to be waiting because he wanted to look into her eyes when he entered her.
His theory proved correct when Jamie caught her eyes on his and then flexed his hips forward. He must have been right at her entrance because the second his hips moved forward, Claire gasped. As Jamie completed his thrust all the way, they both moaned as if they had gotten into a hot bath after a long day. John was surprised to see that both of their eyes stayed open.
Jamie was looking at her so passionately that it occurred to John that they were literally holding each other’s eyes open with just their intensity. The absolute fire behind Jamie's eyes as he stared at Claire took John's breath away.
After he was in all the way, Jamie and Claire spent a moment just breathing with each other, eyes still locked furiously together.
“Let go, Sassenach.” Jamie said so quietly that John almost wasn’t sure if that’s actually what had been said.
In the next moment though, Claire continued to look at Jamie and after seeming to make a decision, she released one hand from the windowsill beside her and grasped the collar on Jamie’s shirt. Jamie tightened his hold around her torso and that seemed to give her the confidence to let go with her other hand as well. Now both of her fists were gripping tightly to Jamie’s shirt.
Jamie, his eyes never leaving hers, leaned forward and tipped her back a few inches. She let out a small gasp and gripped his shirt even tighter. He paused. She closed her eyes briefly and then opened them again. As soon as they met with Jamie’s, she nodded.
Understanding this nod, Jamie pressed on and leaned against her again until she was hanging very dangerously far back. She released a deep breath.
John was taken aback. The level of trust they shared, the silent communication he had just witnessed…all of it was making John feel a mixture of emotions from jealousy to embarrassment to sadness. He knew now he was seeing a connection between two people that most would never experience in their lifetime. He certainly had never gotten to this point with anyone. John was not able to dwell on this point for too long before Jamie reared back and thrust into Claire.
In this new and slightly alarming position, Claire cried out as their bodies moved together over nothing but air. Jamie began to moan as he developed a rhythm and began thrusting into her at a steady pace. Focused aggressively on making sure she felt safe and secure, he held her so tightly that there would be bruises in the morning.
John couldn’t decide where to look. His eyes darted back and forth between Claire and Jamie’s faces. Jamie’s face was harder to see as he kept pressing his face in her neck and chest. Claire had closed her eyes again and was moaning now on every thrust.
Jamie lifted his head again and John switched his gaze to watch as Jamie bit his bottom lip and grunted several times in a row. He couldn’t be sure from such a distance but it looked as though Jamie’s forehead was damp from exertion. John felt his whole body flush at the sight of Jamie like this.
Their bodies were acting in complete tandem all the way from the roll of their hips into each other to the way her arching back fit perfectly into his chest whenever they met in the middle. Claire opened her eyes and tugged on Jamie’s shirt until he lifted his head level with hers again.
She brought their faces together and their lips fell fluidly into a long-practiced dance. Her grip on his collar never wavered and their kisses grew more fierce. Even at the distance he was, he saw Jamie’s tongue snake out and plunge deep into her mouth. John had always fantasized that Jamie was good with his tongue and after everything he had seen tonight, he was confident that those assumptions had been correct. Even now, Claire moaned at whatever he was doing with his tongue in her mouth.
John concluded that she indeed had liked it because a second later, her tongue was slipping into his mouth and the moan that rose up from deep in Jamie’s throat suggested that he, too, enjoyed it.
Shortly after, they both had to release the other’s lips because they were panting too much to stay connected. Claire’s moans were getting louder and after one well-placed thrust, she yelled out, “Oh fuck, Jamie!”
John was not sure what “fuck” meant but he could gather enough from the situation to get the gist of its meaning.
Jamie, with no free hands, pushed his mouth as close to hers as he could, “Quiet, Sassenach,” he grunted into her mouth, “Remember we are not alone here tonight.”
John stiffened, worried that this reminder of him would make them look around. Luckily, it didn’t seem to affect them much at all.
Claire, to her credit, did press her lips together tightly and the next few thrusts John could see her neck muscles straining as she tried to contain her vocal pleasure. After only a few silent thrusts, she moaned again. While it was a quieter moan than before, John knew that even if he had not been at the window watching, he definitely would have woken up by now and heard them.
In fact, they were both panting very heavily and crying out on every other thrust.
Jamie looked at Claire right as she opened her eyes to look pleadingly at him. Apparently, Jamie knew that this look meant that she was close to the end, and he smiled at her.
“Aye, just a bit more,” he said against her mouth. “Do that thing I like, Sassenach.” She returned his grin with a mischievous one of her own and now they both smiled against each other’s lips.
What thing does he like?! John questioned. His heart started racing at the thought of finding out something that Jamie liked in bed. A moment later and he had his answer.
Claire tilted her face up into his neck and John saw her mouth open wide against his skin, her teeth bared, and then she bit down into the skin with force. At the same time, she did something with her lower body because her legs squeezed Jamie tightly and her hips pumped up in to his aggressively. Those two events combined, and John watched as Jamie’s face broke into a huge smile as he laughed and cried out loudly, “Oh God!”
She smiled into his neck and then lifted her face to be level with his again. He opened his eyes to look at her as his thrusts started turning more sporadic. She lifted a hand to cover his mouth, “Shhhh…remember we are not alone tonight.” She repeated his warning back to him with a sparkle in her eyes and a giant smirk on her face.
His eyes darkened and he opened his mouth and took three of her fingers in between his lips, leaving just her pinky and her thumb resting on either side of his mouth. First, he sucked on them harshly and then he bit down on them. She gasped as she watched him.
John gasped almost as loudly.
The two of them were now barreling to climax together. Their bodies were pressed tightly, not an inch of space between them anywhere. Even their foreheads stayed pressed together, breathing in each other’s air like oxygen.
Just as they both cried out and Jamie’s hips paused in his deepest thrust, John felt all of the breath leave his body. John watched as Claire and Jamie’s faces were taken over by looks of pure ecstasy and they continued to breathe out moans even as Jamie grunted out his last couple of thrusts, milking himself into her. Jamie’s mouth had gone slack and so Claire’s fingers were now just resting on his tongue as his mouth hung open. Claire’s chest pumped up and down as she continued to try and fill her lungs.
John noticed that they were both shaking quite noticeably. He thought briefly that they were cold but then he realized that it was warm outside. The more the shaking continued, the more he realized that their aftershocks were both so intense that they were still spasming long after their climaxes had peaked.
Another pang of hurt gripped John's chest as the thought occurred to him that he would never be able to give Jamie the amount of pleasure that he so obviously had just gotten from Claire.
At last, Jamie brought Claire back into an upright seated position. Her fingers wandered out of his mouth and into the hair on the back of his neck. John had always wanted to feel the curls that were in that spot.
Jamie, in turn, pressed their foreheads together again and placed a gentle hand on her cheek. He traced her jawbone with a finger as they both continued to breathe heavily.
They looked upsettingly intimate, John felt. In fact, out of everything he had seen tonight, he almost felt the most uncomfortable witnessing this moment.
They continued to caress each other’s faces and nuzzle their noses together, refusing to look away from each other’s eyes. Jamie looked at her as if she was the only thing he ever wanted to look at for the rest of his life. Again, John felt a sad pull in his chest. They stayed that way for so long that John almost began to finally tear himself away from the window. But after a few minutes, their breath had finally returned to normal.
Jamie ran a finger along her lips and then bent his head to kiss them. She responded and opened her mouth to him. They kissed deeply, but slowly. After breaking apart again, Jamie dipped to leave small pecks on her neck and sternum. Claire let out a long sigh of content, a small and sated smile on her lips.
The next thing John knew, Jamie had grabbed the edge of her shift and pulled it off her shoulders until her arms were free and the shift rested on her hips. John saw the fastest glimpse of her breasts before Jamie wrapped his arms around her back and pressed her body to his. He shoved one hand underneath her ass and stood up. Her legs still wrapped tightly around his hips and her arms now following suit around his neck, he turned and John watched as his hand began to roam the span of her naked back as he walked them away from the window and back into their room.
For a moment, John stood there, motionless. So many things went through his mind but mostly he just stood there in utter disbelief at what he had just seen. He had spent a lot of time around Claire and Jamie and it was never easy to see them being domestic and so clearly still in love with each other even after all this time.
He had, on several occasions, caught them in the middle of passionate kisses or saw them from afar, wrapped up in each other’s arms. He had seen them sneaking away to their bedroom or the woods when they thought no one was looking. Christ, he had even heard them making love before. He, on one end of the house, hearing distant but also distinct sounds of moaning and a bed squeaking. But this, to actually see it, was a whole different experience.
It wasn’t just those moments that hurt, though. He found himself feeling pangs of sadness at even the small things that they shared together.
Jamie, on his way to the still, crossing the span of the entire front yard just to give her a quick peck in the garden before going back on his way.
They would hold hands as they went to the clothesline to make doing laundry seem like a romantic walk in the fresh air.
She would bring herbs into his office so that she could pull apart stems or crush leaves in a bowl while he would look over the numbers of the ridge. They wouldn’t even talk much, they just seemed to need to be near each other.
John didn’t know if it had to do with the fact that they had been separated for so long or what. All he did know was that he had never seen any other couple in his life that came anywhere close to what they had together. He had accepted long ago that he would never have these kinds of things with Jamie, and was content to be his friend. But it didn't make it any less painful to see how happy he was with someone else.
He didn’t have much longer to ponder because he was suddenly taken out of his thoughts by a manly grunt followed by a Scottish curse and then the sound of giggling. It took John only a moment to realize that they were evidently going for round two in bed this time.
It was then that John realized his own excitement. He looked down at the very obvious bulge in his pants and took a deep breath before retreating from the window at last. He felt that he had heard and seen enough already tonight so he closed the window, got into bed, and blew out the candle on his bedside table. Of course, John should have known that closing the window would do no good. This house was nice but no amount of wall could mask the sounds coming from the master bedroom. At one point, it sounded like something had been knocked over and broken but mostly he just heard very loud grunts in Jamie’s deep cadence and slightly higher pitched but just as deep moans coming from Claire.
John spent the next hour listening to their moaning, shushing, laughing, and what sounded like a bedpost against a wall, while trying to ignore his own raging boner. Eventually, he couldn’t be strong anymore and finished himself off to what he tried to imagine as only Jamie’s sounds. Feeling embarrassed after, he finally drifted to sleep, a pillow over his head and ears.
The next morning, John went for an early walk, hoping to avoid being invited to breakfast with the happy couple. After last night, he was still feeling quite awkward and didn’t feel ready to face them yet. Unfortunately, fate had other plans.
Arriving back from his walk, he entered the house and found himself just outside of Claire’s surgery. He could hear the conversation going on inside.
He was pleased to hear that Claire was trying out the new lenses that he had brought for her microscope. He even considered entering the room knowing that they would have a neutral and scientific topic they could discuss. But then he heard Jamie’s voice and his mind immediately took him back to hearing that voice discussing some very not neutral topics last night.
My Lord…did she just say male reproductive cells? And Jamie—seed…Claire was looking at seed in her microscope??? John’s ears perked up, immediately intrigued.
“Who’s are they?” He heard Jamie ask, sounding off-put and nervous.
Claire laughed, “Well, yours of course! Who else would they be?”
John felt his cheeks blush thinking about Jamie’s seed.
Sounding dubious, John heard Jamie ask exactly what he had been thinking, “How did you get them?”
John could practically hear the smirk in her voice as she replied, “I woke up in custody of them this morning.”
John felt his face go from blushing red to stark white. He heard them continue their conversation but he didn’t hear what they were saying. He was too busy thinking about how Claire had apparently woken up this morning and…he couldn’t even finish the thought. Picturing Claire doing that was not something he was in a hurry to imagine.
Just then, he realized that they were both quiet now. John chanced a peek around the corner of the doorway and saw them wrapped in each other’s arms. Claire had her head pressed to Jamie’s chest and he was resting his chin on the top of her head. They were swaying together as they stood.
It took only a moment for John to recognize that he wouldn’t be able to walk by the large doorway without them noticing. He took a deep breath and walked backwards halfway down the hall. Then, he began walking towards the surgery again, stamping his feet heavily on the floor in the hopes that they would hear him coming.
Arriving at the entrance and stating loudly, “Good morning!” John walked in just a step to see Claire and Jamie still wrapped around each other but were now facing the door. They released each other’s bodies with their arms but they stood only an inch apart.
They seemed only mildly frustrated to be interrupted but they still smiled at him and greeted him warmly.
“I trust that you slept well?” Jamie asked politely, as one would typically do with a houseguest.
John cleared his throat and looked around the room awkwardly, anywhere but at Jamie and Claire. “Um…yes, quite. Very well.”
A moment of awkward silence followed until Claire broke in, “The new lenses are lovely, John. Thank you for bringing them for me.”
He did his best to smile normally at her, “Oh! I am pleased to hear it. I am always happy to assist your research in any way I can.”
A moment after he spoke, John felt color rise to his cheeks when he realized what he had implied. But then he remembered that Claire and Jamie didn’t know that he knew what her current “experiment” was.
“Oh, would you like to see for yourself?” She offered, pointing a finger to the microscope and quirking an eyebrow up.
“No!” Jamie practically yelled, looking like he might get sick at the thought. Claire looked at him, amused more than anything and John wondered if Claire had only offered in order to gain entertainment while teasing Jamie.
Jamie continued, more quietly but not any less awkwardly, “Uh…I was hoping John would assist me in the library with some of the new books he brought with him.”
John was happy to jump in and accept that offer rather than spend another moment in this conversation.
Claire chuckled to herself, not embarrassed in the least. As Jamie walked over to join John, he turned back suddenly to Claire.
“Sassenach…could ye maybe…” He struggled to find the words and glanced briefly at John before looking back at her. “Just—take good care of yer wee experiment, would ye?”
Claire smiled sweetly back at him as she lifted her cup of tea to her mouth, “Of course, darling. I always do, don’t I?”
They shared a look of amusement, grinning sheepishly at each other, and John was actually quite disturbed that, for once, he knew exactly what they were thinking.