Original prompt: Love to read a Modern Glasgow AU wedding/engagement. Thank you this one it's a favorite of mine
Murtagh insisted they go to the pub around the corner to celebrate their engagement. He’d expected them to continue their lovestruck behavior in public, and that he’d be very much the third wheel.
But he hadn’t expected Claire Beauchamp to just about drink him under the table.
She slammed down the empty shot glass, grinning like an idiot. “That’s ten, Mr. FitzGibbons,” she crowed, voice only slightly slurred. “To your seven. Better give up now – I don’t think you’ll survive another three.”
Blinking back tears, Murtagh slid another shot of whisky down his throat. Jamie thumped him on the back in encouragement. Bloody fool had withdrawn himself after the third shot, grinning the whole time.
This lass was full of surprises – a Sassenach, older, a nurse. Mouth like a sailor. Rescued like a damn damsel in one of the fairy stories he’d read to Jamie when he was a bairn. And she drank like a fish.
He couldn’t have picked a better match for wee Jamie if he’d tried.
“Eight, mistress,” he gulped. “I dare ye to stand up. It’s no’ winning if ye havena got yer legs about ye.”
Flushed with alcohol and excitement, she rose. Wobbled a bit, to be sure, but steadily held her ground. Jamie instantly rose beside her and offered a steadying hand.
“No! Not allowed!” Murtagh bellowed – though he could barely be heard above the din in the pub. He pushed his chair back and rose, feet planted firmly on the ground.
And dropped like a stone.
“Come on, man,” Jamie nudged Murtagh, who had crumpled against his side as they waited for the crossing light to change. “Dinna embarrass yerself in front of my wife.”
“She’s no’ yer wife yet, laddie,” Murtagh mumbled slowly, deliberately. “That’s – why – we – were – celebratin’.”
Jamie slung Murtagh’s arm around his shoulder. A rather unladylike snort came from Claire, somehow still walking under her own power. “I don’t know how we would have ever gotten you home, Jamie.”
The light turned green, and Jamie practically dragged Murtagh into the crosswalk. “Weel, Murtagh’s done it for me a time or two before, when I was a young and foolish lad.”
“Yer still a young and foolish lad,” Murtagh croaked. He could move his legs, to be sure – but gripped Jamie’s shoulder for all he was worth.
“I’d smack ye if we weren’t in the middle of the street,” Jamie hissed. As they reached the other side and turned onto the sidewalk, he glared at Claire. “And you – you encouraged him. He hasna had this much to drink in a long time.”
She giggled. “He’s a grown man – not my fault he didn’t want to be beaten by a woman.”
They arrived at Murtagh’s door. Jamie fumbled in his pockets for the key.
“Yer no’ a woman. Ye must be – a witch. No woman could drink that much.”
Claire eased Murtagh’s other arm over her shoulder, helping Jamie guide him up the stairs. “I’ll let you try to best me again, then – but next time, let’s do it at home? I have a feeling Jamie would have preferred leaving you to fend for yourself at the pub.”
Murtagh broke into a beatific smile as they eased him through the door and onto the couch. “Maybe – maybe I’d ha’ met a beautiful lass like yerself, then. Like Jamie did.”
Jamie snorted as he unlaced Murtagh’s shoes. “Hush, a bhailach. Go back to yer dreams. Claire will tend ye in the morning.”
She draped a blanket over him as his eyes closed. Jamie stepped into the kitchen. Suddenly Murtagh’s hand darted from under the blankets and gripped her wrist, tightly.
“Dinna break his heart, lass. He wouldna survive it.”
Gently she pried his fingers from her arm. “I won’t. I couldn’t.”
He sighed, and within seconds began to snore.
Jamie returned and set a glass of water and some aspirin on the bedside table. “Puir bugger. He’ll have a sore heid in the morning.”
Claire stepped beside him and grasped his hand. He turned to face her fully. His other hand tilted up her chin for a soft kiss.
“Christ, ye taste like the bottom of a bottle,” he breathed against her lips.
She laughed softly. “Let’s go to bed, Jamie.”
He stilled. She felt the pulse in wrist race.
“To bed or – to sleep?” he whispered, breathlessly.
She smiled and kissed him for a long moment.
“Just hold me?”
He kissed her forehead. “Aye. I can do that. I wouldn’t want to take advantage of a woman half gone wi’ drink, anyway.”
She playfully pushed against his shoulder. “Wait until I try to drink you under the table.”
He laughed softly. “God help me if I’m fool enough to try.”