When the Heart Calls

BY : ChrissyQuinn
Category: -Misc TV Shows > General
Dragon prints: 72
Disclaimer: I do not own Outlander, nor the characters from it. Any resemblance of OCs to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

((Author's Note: I've also posted this on wattpad under than name RLCarrington and Fanfiction.net under the same name as well. Also this story contains spoilers for Season 3 of the show onward and books Voyager on as well.))

 

The Stones

Summer 2014

 

                A harsh cool wind whipped my long dark auburn over my slender shoulders, sending my wild loose waves to flail about before settling back just below the small of my back. Before me stood the stones, I couldn’t think of them as anything else. They’d held such a large looming presence in my life. My glade green eyes took in the ancient sight before me and as always they seemed almost mesmerizing as someone walked up behind me. I turned at the footsteps finding my grandmother with her unbound blonde hair full of white whipping about like my own as she climbed to stand behind me. Everyone in my family was so tall, but I wasn’t. She dwarfed me, and had the family smattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks, another thing I didn’t have. I also lacked the milk pale skin that turned red long before tanning instead my skin was golden and sunkissed all year long. But our eyes were shaped the same, large and slanted though hers were dark blue to my bright green.

                “Mind the stones my wee bonnie lassie,” my grandmother said with a playful laugh, as she always did when we visited the stone, her thick Scottish accent brought a smile to my lips.

                “Or else the faeries will take me,” I finished for her with a bit of a giggle, my accent American and the product of growing up mostly in Connecticut—though France and Scotland would always be my second homes.

                “It’s not nice to laugh at your elders, Moira-Rose,” my grandmother chided. “I’d have thought your Da would have taught you that one. Lord knows I beat it into him enough as a child.” Of course she’d bring up Da. I kicked at the earth with my boot.

                “Can you not talk about him?” I crossed my arms, fiddling with the edge of my off the shoulder sleeve. A hard gust blew, catching the mini skirt of my white linen dress and ruffling it against my thighs.

                “Sooner or later you’re going to have to talk to him and about him. Men never grieve long.” Her grandmother sighed, eyes dancing over the stones. “Besides, they say the faster someone remarries the more in love they were.” Though she said it, it didn’t sound like she believed it, at least not to me.

                “Mom’s only been dead two years,” I countered turning my head to face her.

                “Yes, and he’s only been with Mary for nine months.” Again she defended the indefensible.

                “That’s nice, but I’m not going back and you can’t make me talk to him.” Lifting my chin I crossed my arms.

                “Oh, I’m well aware how stubborn you are. That’s some of your MacKenzie blood.” She snorted a bit. “You even rushed through highschool at a record pace to get away. It’s been five months, Lass. Like I said when you showed up on my doorstep, you’re more than welcome to stay as long as you like and putter about my garden. But you need to talk to your Da and think about school.”

                “Grandpa’s been dead longer than I’ve been alive and you never remarried.”

                “Things were different. I’m married to Scotland now.” She smirked, it was the answer she always gave. She’d been the head of the History Department at the University of the Highlands and the Islands, as long as I could remember but she retired around the time my mother died. “Let’s head back to the pub for some supper.” She tugged at the ends of my foxpelt hair a bit like she used to do when I was younger.

                “Fine.” Kicking at the ground with my knee-high boot I started back down the hill toward the parking lot. “And I guess I wouldn’t mind if you told me the story of the woman and the faeries again on the walk back.” I flashed grandma a smile, it was a story we both loved and bonded over.

                “Long ago, when I was a wee bonnie lassie myself, there was woman from England who came to honeymoon here in Inverness with her husband Frank Randall…”

 

                At the pub, which was packed with people watching a rugby match, we ate Fish and Chips the same as we always did on Friday nights we ignored the loud television as grandma continued her story.  I had just put a French fry in my mouth when in walked Da, toweringly tall with his mop of close cropped red hair not unlike mine and slanted blue eyes. There was no doubt that I was his daughter, we had the same set of brow, same long pointed nose and same highland temper.

                I must have been scowling because grandma twisted around to see what I was looking at. She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, “You were supposed to wait at the house, Ian Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser!” She bellowed as he neared the table. “You might be well near forty-five but I have half a mind to box your ears. All those degrees and not even two pence worth of sense.”

                “Morra,” dad started with a sigh, he too had my American accent though around the edges some Scottish seeped through. He’d been raised between Boston and Inverness, spending falls with Grandpa while he taught at Harvard and summers in Scotland. “Christ, Ma, you let her wear that out the house? It’s damn near a shirt.” He narrowed his eyes at my dress, talking over me as he so often did.

                “It’s a dress, son. Sometimes they’re short in the summer. She’s almost sixteen.” Her grandmother shrugged, and he stared at her with his mouth slack in disbelief.

                “What do you want, Da?” I crossed my arms. Staring down my father.

                “Mary’s here and—”

                “You brought her here?” My mouth hung slack as a flaxen haired woman with bright green eyes and glasses walked in then headed straight for the table. Without missing a beat this stranger wrapped her thin pale arms around my father and my heart broke. “I’m not doing this. Mom’s been dead two years. Two! And you’re engaged already.” My hands were shaking so bad I had to hold them to stop it. “She won’t even have been dead for three by your wedding date.”

                “Morra, you’ll understand when you’re ol—” I cut him off.

                “No, I won’t! You don’t do that when you love someone. You don’t replace the person you love with someone who looks nothing like them, and who you barely know. You just don’t do that!” Tears blurred my vision and slipped down my cheeks. Wiping my eyes, I slid from the booth standing before my father, barely coming up to his shoulder. “See you’ve talked to me. I’m alive. Now take your girlfriend and go back to Cambridge because I’m staying in Scotland with grandma. You want me to think about university? Fine. University of Edinburgh. Major? Military History, like mom. There. Now, I’m walking home.” I trembled with rage and uncertainty as I stared my father down and left the pub into the streetlight illuminated night.

                Sunset painted the town with oranges, reds and gold, some purple crept in too as it grew darker and I walked through the familiar streets with my leather bag over my shoulder. It was one of the last things my mother gave to me. We’d gone to a reenactment of the battle of Bosworth and there was a medieval festival there. She’d bought me the bag on a whim because I kept looking at it, and I’d never had it from my side since. She’d died the next month. I never carried much in the bag, other than the tarot cards mom gave me for my thirteenth birthday. They were tucked away in their little velvet pouch.

                Without meaning to I found herself at the stones in the dark. Crickets and frogs chirped all around me but there was another sound that made me step toward the stones. Buzzing and whispers came from the stone, and I felt myself pulled to it. The closer I got the more aware I was of the faint heat coming off it was like some living thing.

                “Morra!”  My father’s voice echoed to me, but it was wrapped in the hundreds of playful warnings everyone gave me about the stones. It was like some unseen force had tangled around me and I drew me in to the stone I reached out with one hand to touch it and the moment my fingers made contact the world stopped.

 

Early Fall 1764

                Once, when I was very young I went sledding with my Da. There was this massive hill a block from our home. Mom told him not to take me down the hill, but Da said I’d be okay because he’d hold me in his lap. It was that sensation of unsettling weightlessness as I slipped from my Da’s fingers that I felt when I started existing again. It wasn’t like falling, the fall made my stomach twist and knot with fear as the ground came into view and at six I thought I’d die. It was that initial feeling of slipping away into nothingness then something reaching up and pulling me down back into existence.

                My head hurt as I laid on my back at the foot of the large stone in the middle of the circle, the buzzing was gone and mist rose all around. Everything was in the same breath exactly the way it’d been when I touched the stones and infinitely different. One thing was the lack of light pollution, the sky was no longer pink from the city, but crystal clear. What seemed to be a million stars glittered overhead.

                As I pulled myself to standing, all the tales grandma told her about the stones rushed into my mind all at once. The stones were more or less the same, though slightly less weathered so I knew I was still in Scotland but when? I shivered, regretting my choice of clothes. What was perfect for a summer day in 2014 wasn’t even close to being warm enough for a summer night in whatever year it happened to be.

                Cold and trembling I picked a direction and started walking, better to wander off maybe find someone than to freeze to death in the middle of nowhere waiting. Hours passed, and the cold night gave way to the damp gray dawn, coating me in a thin layer of dew. My feet ached and I was seconds away from passing out when I came to the first sign of life. Dull thuds drew my attention down a leaf littered path. A horse galloped toward me—a horse. Squinting, I made out what the rider wore… a tri-corner hat.

                The sight of the hat was almost enough to make me back away but it was too late, the rider saw me. When the horse stopped my mouth fell opened. Da? The man was nearly a replica of my father, but with longer hair. I’d never seen my father with more than two inches of hair and this man had enough to tie his foxcoat locks into a ponytail. He seemed larger than life with his broad shoulders and hair red like mine. The eyes were even like my fathers, blue and slanted slightly like a foxes.  I covered my mouth, had the faeries taken me through the stones like grandma said or had I died? Was the warmth and buzzing nothing more than the preamble to a random lightning strike. Tears welled burned my eyes as the man looked down at me.

                “You okay, lassie?” The voice wasn’t like Da’s at all. I shook my head no, an wiped away the tears with a pathetic little sniffle.

                “I… I don’t know where I am.” I choked back a sob rubbing my arms that had gone slightly numb from the cold.

                “Shh… it’ll be all right, no need for tears.” He glanced up on the horizon. “I’ll take you some place safe. Get some food in you, and some dry clothes. How does that sound?”

                Trembling, all I could do was nod. He held out his hand and for a moment I started at the familiar hand of the stranger before taking it. Once in the saddle the man took off his cloak and put it over my shoulders, the warmth was welcome but the smell I could do without. Cold as I was complaining about the stink wasn’t anywhere near my mind as I swallowed and we galloped on.

                “This might sound strange but… what year is it?” I asked, my voice a whisper. I looked up at him and he did a double take as he got a closer look at me. I couldn’t help but wonder if I reminded him of his own daughter.

                He smiled at me nervously, “Year of our lord seventeen sixty-four, and you’re on the road to Lallybroch.”

                Lallybroch brought to mind the annual summer trip to my third cousin’s home. They were MacKenzies and related to my grandmother somehow. Knowing that we were going someplace I knew at least in some context made me smile.

 



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