I'm feeding Clarance the third when I see a wagon coming over the road, frowning I scrutinise the occupants of the wagon. "Jamie! Jamie. Bree and Roger are here with the children." He grins and looks for them.
"Where are they, Sassanach?" He's looking for them in the distance, "In the wagon? Why a wagon?" He's right, they normally walked to the ridge.
Roger stopped the wagon in front of the cabin and jumped down, Jem jumping off of the back and both help the girls down. The first thing I notice is Mandy's leg and arm in bandages, "Mandy, what happened?" She wraps her arms around me.
"I'll tell you soon, granny. I just want to be hugged by you right now." I felt Jamie hug us both from behind Mandy, then I heard a sniffing. I look down at Mandy and the tears are streaming down her face, "I'm sorry."
"Dinna weep a lennan." Jamie rubs her back.
"After I was...hurt...all I wanted was my family...all of you." Jamie and I smiled at each other. Bree gives me some sterile bandages.
"The nurse showed us how to change her bandages but we thought since you were a doctor, let you take care of it. That way we know it'll be done properly." I nod, of course Bree would think that I'd be better than her.
"Jamie, would you go with the others and get them some refreshments while I tend to Mandy, please?" Mandy grins and hobbles on her metal crutches over to my surgery.
"Of course Sassanach, we will have a feast." Bree and Roger smile.
"Thanks, da, but I want to go with Mandy." He nods. He understands her.
As I had Mandy in my surgery I asked her what happened, it all came pouring out and my heart broke to know my granddaughter was terrified before being shot in the leg. Bastards wanted her to suffer before they blew up the library. I pulled her close and Bree cuddles into my back. "I saw my friends die...I can't believe I just knelt there and let them do it."
"If you had you'd be dead..."I pet her hair. She's so precious to us all. "And we would be devastated if that happened to you. Our little girls." I kiss both their foreheads and sniff a little, the emotions are so raw for me. Both Bree and Mandy stay in my arms for a while. I see the pain in my girls' eyes and I can't help it, I cry hard.
"Granny, don't cry." Mandy really is a sweetheart and she wipes my eyes for me. "I am alive and I'm here." She takes my hands in hers and rubs them with her thumb.
For a little while, we stay and we talk Mandy laughs with us. Then we head to the cabin for dinner. Jamie immediately jumped up and helped Mandy into a chair, she smiled at her grandpa.
He looked older now, with his white hair and his wrinkles, Oh, and his sun-damaged skin that makes it seem rather leathery. He's got some age spots on his hands and as I look down at mine I see mine too. He grasps Mandy's hand. We eat and talk, Jem gives Mandy bunny. I didn't know that Bree still had bunny let alone passed him onto Mandy. Jamie frowns and looks at the cuddly toy. "Oh, grandpa. Almost forgot to show you bunny." Mandy holds him out to Jamie. "He's my good luck charm. Got me through the operations when I was a little girl." Jamie grins.
"A stuffed rabbit, lass?" He seems confused. "The foot is probably the luckiest part of it, but why do ye have the whole animal?"
Bree and Mandy start laughing, "It's not a real stuffed rabbit, Da." Bree tells him when she's finally stopped laughing. "It's cloth sewn into the shape of a rabbit stuffed with cotton." Jamie looks even more confused. "And bunny is more like a security blanket to Mandy rather than a good luck charm. Bunny makes her feel safe."
"Bunny is also somewhat of a family heirloom. Brianna had bunny when she was a baby." Jamie smiles down at the stuffed animal with this revelation. "I had no idea she still had him let alone passed him onto Mandy." I grinned at the little family. One by one they announced their intention to go to bed until it was just me and Jamie.
"Three against one, the odds are getting slimmer..." I frowned, "Now I have three women in my life that laugh when I dinna ken something from the future."
"Oh." I look down. "Well, it makes sense you wouldn't know about cuddly toys as they won't be invented for a little over 100 years from now." I rubbed his back.
"Mandy. Did she tell ye how she happened to get a wound on her arm and her leg?" I nod.
"Yes, she did...but I think she'd like to tell you herself." I sigh, he looks at me pleadingly. "I can tell you that she had no one in the family around her at the time, and Bree, Roger, and Jem didn't know if she was living or dead for hours after the news." His lips purse. "And that she asked to come here. In the hospital the two people that came to mind after her parents and brother were us." He nods.
"And whatever she tells me, ye want me to make ye a promise, Sassanach?" I nod, he knows me so well, too well almost. "Then ask it of me, I'll ken if I can make it then."
"Don't be angry. She doesn't need anger. She needs understanding." He nods.
"Ye have my word, Sassanach. I willna get angry. But I canna promise that in private I willna be upset."
"I understand, my darling." I kiss him gently and then yawn. "I think it's time for bed." He nods.
"Aye, 'tis." He laughed, "let's go to bed together then, Sassanach." He picks me up bridal style. "In the morning I'll spend time wi our Mandy, hopefully then she'll tell me what happened."