A final inspection in his trailer's mirror: temples, hairline, behind both ears. A vigorous head shake just to be sure. No movement. So far, so good. Now for some exaggerated facial expressions: feigned surprise, eyes blown wide. Hm. Secure. Wrinkled forehead with nose scrunch. Nothing amiss. My God, he thought, this thing's still holding on after a full day of shooting. The lacefront wigs, the glue: everything was better this season. Wendy, you beauty.
Having lied through his teeth to get everyone to leave before him -
No, no, I can manage; I'm just going to shower here and do a bit of reading. Quieter here than at home, you know.
No worries: I've seen it taken off hundreds of times, and I know how it's done. Off you go.
- he turned the light switch off behind him and shut the trailer's flimsy door.
He pulled his parka up a little higher to hide the short 'tail in the back, lest the nighttime guards catch a glimpse of it. Just before he caught their eye, he remembered the telltale forehead. Shit. He jerked his hood up just in time. "'Nite", he called out with a wave. The guards each returned the gesture with their free hand that wasn't holding a coffee.
He approached his car, knowing Davie would be chatty. Oh God. Not tonight. Gotta focus. He plopped down in the back and closed the door. "There's the lad. Wot's yer prefairt station fer the drive? Hits o' the Eighties? Mayhap yer podca - " He'd stopped short when his eyes encountered Jamie Fraser in the rearview mirror. He turned around with a start. "Wot the...?"
God. Here we go. "Look. Just don't make it weird, arite? I'm like to lose my nerve as it is." Davie shot him a barely-contained side smile that read "och, ye wee devil" as he placed the car in drive.
"If it's all the same to you, some light jazz'd be nice. And just... quiet. Got handed some new pages for tomorrow that I'd like to get a jump on."
"Aye. Yer the boss." Wisely, Davie took a pass on the 'get a jump on' remark. And he drove.
He sent her a quick text from the road:
ETA 15 min 😘🥃😈🍤🥧
He chuckled to himself.
"Cheers. Thanks mate. See you bright and early tomorrow" and Davie was gone.
The scrape of his key in the lock.
Nothing, save Eddie barely noticing his entrance before curling up into a fat ball on the sofa.
He removed his parka, and tested the air in a heavily-accented whisper:
"Sassenach, I'm come home."
"Pssssst... Sassen-ACH... where are ye?"
He heard the dryer door open. Well, at least he knew where to find her. With that, Jamie Fraser walked into the Balfe-Heughan laundry room. Her back was to him as she reached for a towel to fold. She was in a tank and a pair of sleep shorts, and her hair was a wreck.
"Hullo, darling. I am so glad you're home. God, it's been a day. Remember the sniffles we noticed at breakfast? Well, they took a turn, and I've been sneezed on and snotted on by two kids with fevers. Finally got them down about an hour ago. And I'll have you know, our son even had the gall to puke - "
She stopped when she'd turned around to find her husband's face and found that of Jamie Fraser instead.
What the -
It stopped her in her tracks.
"Oh Balfie, c'mere." Jamie reached out for her, arms clad in a very familiar whitish-gray linen shirt. She went to him instinctively as though she was Claire. In that moment, she became Claire. He wrapped his arms around her and drew her close. He whispered tender words of sympathy for the trying day she'd had, but while her mind knew the voice to be her husband's, she was in Jamie's arms. He felt like Jamie. Smelled like Jamie, thanks to the familar hair and wardrobe, and OH MY GOD he was wearing the effing breeks and scuffed-up boots.
Coming out of his bear hug, she took a long, leisurely look at him. He mistook her expression for exhaustion and reached up to break the lace-front of his wig away from his skin. "Balfie, I'm so sorry. I should've told you what I had planned. But I said nothing, and from the look of things, I've picked the worst possible time - " And his fingers were fast approaching his hairline.
As she plucked his hand away just in time, she heard the cultured English voice of Claire Fraser escape her lips. "DON'T- [pause] - take it off."
His mouth curled into a slow, devious smile as his eyes narrowed and went dark.
She whispered three breathy words a mere inch from his lips:
"Bedroom. Ten minutes."
As he listened to the running shower, he sat on the edge of the bed and remembered the countless times they'd said they'd do this very thing... one day. One day was now.
The shower had stopped. He'd just finished unbuttoning his boots and tossing them aside (gently - they weren’t really his and he wasn’t supposed to have them here anyway) when the bathroom door opened. Out walked his wife with one hand seductively fluffing her still-wet hair and the other clasping the soon-to-be released Sassenach First Love blanket scarf around her body. His breath hitched in his throat.
My God, he thought, this woman is an angel. And she's mine.
"Ahhh Dhia." A deep, cleansing breath and back in character.
"Come here to me, Sassenach. And let me care for ye, mo ghraidh."