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How Will I Know

Chapter Text


Oh I lose control, can't seem to get enough



"So, what about you?"


"What about me?"


"Well, you clearly didn't come out here in the back for a smoke" she raised her eyebrow giving his almost self extinguished cigar a look


He looked at it quizzically and decided to throw it away, stepping over it although it probably was out already. "Guess not" he smiled at her and he noticed her own lips quirking slightly at the corners


She then gasped playfully "You weren't… leaving the party, were you?" He grimaced smilingly, looking away and she laughed "The singles' table treating you that badly?"

He narrowed his eyes, still smiling "Ye could say that"


"Would you mind helping me break free as well?" He furrowed his eyebrows slightly. Just what exactly was she asking of him? "I'm afraid I might close shop and move come morning if I have to endure another minute of this. It sounds desperately tempting, and I'd really be considering it in earnest had I not just put all my life savings into it" she laughed, but her laughter never reached her eyes this time.


He worried his lower lip for a quick moment "Well then, I guess that means ye're coming with me"


"My hero" she smiled, throwing her cigar away and putting it out, then following him down the narrow alley that led into the main street.


They walked in silence for a while, the only sound piercing it coming from her high heels hitting the pavement "How much further till we reach your car?"


Jamie looked at her as she hugged his coat closer to her body "Actually, I'm on foot. I came with my sister and brother in law but they're staying, since they obviously were not made to endure the singles' table. Are ye cold, lass?"


She nodded "Not really, it's more a matter of stilettos on cobblestone"


He looked down her long, shapely legs to where her impossible looking shoes touched the pavement and hummed "Ye're a brave wee thing to be walking in those. We're almost there, the cabs are usually stationed just around the corner, there. Do you want me to call an Uber?"


Faint music was now also piercing the rather silent neighborhood and she turned her head in the direction from which it came from. Turning back to look at him she gave him an once over that made Jamie clench his fists in his pockets, effectively stretching out the material should his cock get any ideas again.


"What say we put our fancy clothes to good use before we call it a night? I don't want to go to bed thinking I've nearly sprained my ankles for nothing"


Jamie looked over to the pub from which the music was coming from, with the door to it opening now and again and allowing the music and pleasant chatter to escape into the silent street, alluring them, and then his eyes were back on her. In fact, they weren't particularly overdressed for a pub, his suit was one he'd worn to church more times than he cared to remember, and her little black dress was simple in itself, what made it special was the woman wearing it. And she looked even lovelier with his coat sitting over her shoulders.


"Sure, why not" he finally said and he swore he saw a glint in her eyes upon hearing that.


They made their way inside and the music was surprisingly not overly loud that they couldn't hear each other over it. Most probably it just echoed louder in the quiet outdoors.


"This is nice" she hummed while they found a table for two near the window.


She sat down while he stood "What would ye like from the bar?"


"Oh, I don't know. What are you having?"


He raised an eyebrow at that "'Tis Scotland, lass. I'm not sure they serve much else beside whisky"


"I'm afraid I'm not what you'd call a whisky connoisseur. I'll just have what you're having"


"Very well" he hummed and went to place their order at the bar. He took his time, his mind suddenly racing. Here he was, out on a Saturday night with the very object of his wildest fantasies and he had no idea what to do, but he was very aware that he was more than willing to do whatever it took. He'd already smoked just for the sake of her company.


When he came back, she'd shed his coat on her chair's backrest and was looking out the window, resting her chin on her palms.


He gulped, having the sudden urge to bolt before it was too late.


She could see her legs crossed elegantly under the table, the hem of her dress riding up to her mid thigh. From his vantage point he could also see just the slightest amount of cleavage, but it was enough to make him want to sit down, the sooner, the better.


His legs moved on their own accord as he sat himself on the opposite side of the small table that barely had room for her clutch and their two whiskey glasses.


She looked at their two glasses and then picked hers up. He leaned in, clinking their glasses together "Sláinte!" to which she smiled and promptly brought the glass to her lips, almost downing it all in one gulp.


"Whoa. Easy there, lass. 'Tis whisky neat"

She groaned slightly, enjoying the burn "Yes, I see that"


"Thought ye said ye werena a connoisseur. Ye look like ye can hold yer liquor just fine"


She drank the rest of it "Yes, but that doesn't mean I know my whisky, and this is some fine whisky"


"Glad ye approve" he then narrowed his eyes as he took a sip of his "I'll get ye another" he meant to stand but she caught his arm, stopping him


"No, don't. Later, when you're done with yours as well"


"Ye're gonna stand there ogling me drink my whisky?" he smiled and glanced at her still lingering hand on his arm


She removed it slowly but grabbed his glass on the way, and effectively poured half of his remaining whisky into her own glass "There. Fixed it"


He chuckled "I guess ye did" he swallowed, trying not to think too much about the fact that he'd just drank from that very liquor she'd be sipping through her luscious lips next.


"Needed the liquid courage" she laughed lightly, to which he must've appeared visibly surprised as she explained "I haven't been out in a pub for a while. Nearly forgot how nice it could be to get out on a Saturday night like this"


He almost told her he could probably count the number of times he'd frequented a pub but decided against it eventually.


She cleared her throat "So, James Jamie Jamie Fraser. Will you be getting in trouble for ditching the wedding, do you think?"


"Och, I doubt anyone will notice I'm even missing"


"Well, apart from the single lassies still waiting for you to come back to the singles' table, I would imagine"


"How about you? Ye were supposed to mingle. Maybe shamelessly advertise yer wee shop, was it? How did ye even end up setting shop here, Sassenach that ye are?"


She huffed "That's… a long story, and I've certainly hadn't had enough to drink for that one"


To that, he downed his remaining whisky and, as per agreement, took both their glasses back for a refill. When he got back, he furrowed his brows "Now I dinna ken which is which"


She gestured for him not to worry about that "I promise I don't have cooties"


He didn't reply to that, his brows still furrowed trying to distract himself from overthinking it.


"Hey, you can trust me. I'm a doctor" His eyes shot up at her at that "Well, I'm not practicing anymore. I… it's actually part of that whole story I'm not nearly drunk enough for. Sláinte!"


He raised his glass, mirroring her "That's pretty good"


She grimaced, setting the glass down, pacing herself this time "I decided to give up my practice, and move here. I just decided one day that I didn't want to be living that life anymore"


"Being a doctor is overwhelming, I would assume"


"Yes, it is. But that wasn't the main issue"



She put on a forced smile "I'll just go to the ladies' room. Be back in a jiff"


Jamie nodded in acknowledgement and swished his whisky around in his glass. The liquor was effectively calming his nerves, but he was still very much on edge. He still could hardly believe they were really there, the two of them. Mere minutes ago she'd seemed unreachable, intangible, even though she had been ever present in his mind, from the moment he'd first laid eyes on her. It felt surreal to be talking to her, hearing her voice, hearing her say his name. He felt as though he'd just won the lottery to be able to sit across from her and be able to get his fix, to look at her for however much he wanted without having to quickly avert his eyes and look away. He wanted to know her, get to know every nook and cranny, he wanted to undress her not just of her clothes but of all her secrets, insecurities, worries. She'd come to Scotland to escape her past, and even though she was not ready to share the reason with a mere stranger, he felt it right down to the marrow of his bones that he would do whatever it took to give her respite from it all, to help her escape whatever plagued her. He wanted to be the one to cast all her fears away, to chase away all her demons.


He snapped out of his reverie when a bottle of Laphroaig landed in front of him on the table and he looked over at mischievous leopard eyes "Thought we'd cut the trips to the bar short"


He chuckled, albeit nervously, but found himself pouring another glass each.


"So, Jamie. Here I am, spilling all my secrets, and all the while I know next to nothing about you"


"There's no much to tell"


"Well you know I'm a florist and that I'm also a doctor. What is it that you do?"


He debated over how much he should share. He decided for the strictly necessary, for now "I'm an editor. Slash printer"


She raised an eyebrow and he mirrored her to which she replied "Well. You don't get a body like that sitting around in a print shop"


Jamie furrowed his brows and nodded, trying not to read too much into her talking about his body "I like the outdoors, I love to go munro bagging"


"That's it?"


He could feel himself blush slightly "That's… it"


"Good genes" she observed


"Yes, I'd say so"


"Good metabolism… how old are you, anyway?"


He inhaled audibly "I'm three and twenty"


"Three and… what, twenty three? You're twenty three?" she asked incredulously


He nodded, eyes widening in amusement "Last time I checked, aye"


She shot up her eyebrows and poured herself more of the Laphroaig and he didn't miss her mouthing "Holy shit"


She looked as though she was anticipating him to ask her about her age. He figured she couldn't be over 27, but still, he knew better than to ask a woman her age.


"Maybe you'll take me out on one of your hikes one day"


"I'd love to" he smiled "I could show ye a part of wild Scotland ye'd never seen before"


"Oh, I bet" she mumbled downing some more of her whisky, then cleared her throat "One of the reasons I picked Scotland is precisely the fact that the outdoors are just begging for you to go out, exploring. I used to never even see daylight most days, lived off of fluorescent hospital lights most of my adult life"


"That's a right shame. The very place where people go tae get better is caging them in away from God's best healer. Nature."


"That's…" she huffed, smilingly "that's beautiful, Jamie"


"Ye're a florist now, so ye're already halfway there"


"Indeed I am. And maybe it'll help me get in shape too, since it seems to be so effective"


"In shape? What shape might that be?"


"Uhm. I meant, you know, get fit"


"Yer shape is lovely, Sassenach. I wouldna change a thing about it" he said in a lower voice and Claire's eyes suddenly turned a shade darker.


She extended her hand over the small table that separated them to reach his cheek- most likely as an affectionate gesture to repay his compliment, and even though Jamie was not drunk, not in the slightest, he was definitely a good 5-6 glasses in, enough to make him lean into her hand slightly, all the while watching her reaction intently.


To that, her pupils dilated, and she didn't remove her hand, just holding it there for a long moment as if deciding what to do next. She eventually began caressing his jawline with her thumb, slowly at first and then with firmer pressure, rasping her delicate skin against his slight stubble. Her eyes then dropped to his mouth and she wet her own lips as her thumb travelled to his lower lip, tugging on it slightly.


Before Jamie could react in any way, and God help him, he certainly didn't know how to react to what was happening, her hand traveled even lower and grabbed his tie swiftly right by the knot, using it to pull him towards her as she, too, moved closer towards him, their knees bumping against one another underneath the tiny round table. He barely managed to instinctively wet his lips before he felt her soft, pillowy lips against his. She tasted of whisky and everything sinful ever known to man. The sensation was so heady that he was extremely thankful to be sitting.


His large hands found purchase into her wild curls, cradling her small face, his thumbs grazing her jaw just the way she'd done to him earlier, feeling her muscles clench and unclench beneath his fingers as she was kissing him with wild abandon.


It felt positively sinful to be kissing her like that, especially in public, but he couldn't find that he cared at all about any of that.


She gave his lips a tentative lick and he felt a spark run through his whole body, short circuiting him in its wake. He groaned, opening for her and she immediately plunged her eager tongue into his mouth.


He couldn't understand how he could possibly feel all that all the way to his cock, as if it wasn't even happening to his mouth at all. Their tongues danced languidly together, their mouths molded perfectly over the other, in a manner that felt just as natural and ancient to him as the moon following a sunset and then the sun rising again in turn, so on and so forth.


She broke the kiss and only then did he realize how urgently he'd needed to gasp for air, panting heavily. She didn't pull back, her mouth still hovering over his, her breath warm and just as labored as his own, her whisky (or was it leopard?) eyes looking at him from beneath hooded eyelashes "Take me home, Jamie".