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Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Snippets of Millers Kill (13-15)

This is a series of 15 drabblish sized stories of life for Russ and Clare in Millers Kill. They don’t relate to each other and don’t necessarily follow canon. Also spoilers for all seven books is possible but since they don’t all follow canon they could really be set anywhere along the line of the books.

These were written for round #2 of writers30days and are dedicated to txduck who introduced me to the very entertaining Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries by Julia Spencer-Fleming. I read all seven books in a matter of like 2 weeks. They kept my spirits up while suffering from a nasty strain of the flu and possible pneumonia.

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13. prompt: writers choice 1

Faith to Survive
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
349 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: spoilers for the end of book 7

Clare and Russ suffer a great loss and have to find the strength to get through it.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
Sometimes, Russ thinks, things just aren’t meant to be. He’s sure Clare could quote scripture about how challenges just bring you closer to god. Russ would like to toss the Bible out the window right now. Clare isn’t quoting anything. She’s curled up in the hospital bed, trying not to cry. It breaks Russ’ heart. And his reserve.

He’s only just heard. Harlene radioed him and it took him forever to get here. He was too late to hold her while she was in pain. Physical pain. He can see on her face the emotional toll will be much higher. Without another thought he crosses the room and scoops her into his arms, somehow wedging his large frame onto the small bed next to her.

She mumbles something into his chest as he tightens his grip. There’s nothing he can say really. He can’t make things right, he can’t bring that baby back. She starts crying—great, gasping sobs that soak his uniform, her hands twisting the material into a wrinkled mess. He just rocks her softly, murmuring nonsensical reassurances. He realizes that Clare isn’t the only one crying. The tears slip down his cheeks, dropping into her golden hair. This is wrong, he thinks. And he knows Clare is going to blame herself.

But sometimes… sometimes things aren’t meant to be. He tries to tell her that but she shakes her head and begins to mumble prayers under her breath. Nothing will ever make this right and Russ wonders how she can still have faith after everything she’s been through but has to let it go. If it’s what gets her through yet another crisis. He holds her close until the trembling subsides and her breathing slows. He kisses her wet hair and tells her he loves her not that she can hear him anymore. There’s an ache in his chest. He wonders how much worse it is for Clare but doesn’t ask. He needs to be the strong one right now. They’ll get through this. Just like every other time.

“Holding on,” he whispers, “never letting go.”

14. prompt: writers choice 2

Pretty Pretty Princesses
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
504 words
rating: PG

Clare barges in on a personal family ritual between Russ and their daughter.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
Clare can’t help but laugh when she sneaks in the back door around lunch time on a Saturday. She’s been busy with one emergency after another so when Elizabeth insisted she take the rest of Saturday off she relented… under veiled protest. And she’s never been more glad.

The house is filled with music—a princess soundtrack it sounds like—and Clare smiles. She drops her purse and jacket on the desk near the door and tip-toes through the kitchen, avoiding the squeaky floorboards Russ hasn’t gotten around to fixing yet. The remnants of lunch litter the counter. Looks like PB&J again, she thinks with a laugh.

In the living room she wishes for her camera as little Sarah Grace dances gleefully around the room wearing a fluffy blue—no pink for her little “tomboy”—tutu under what looks like one of Russ’ work shirts. Russ, for his part, is sitting in the middle of the floor, still in his pajamas, with a tiara on his head. She can’t see his face at first but then Sarah spots her in the doorway.


That gets Russ’ attention. He spins around and Clare can’t help but laugh. Russ is wearing little plastic earrings—the kind with larger than life fake rubies—and she’s pretty sure his lips are sparkling with strawberry lip gloss. One of Sarah’s blankets is tied around his neck in what Clare can only guess is supposed to be a cape. And are his nails painted?

He groans and falls backwards on the floor, throwing his arm over his eyes. “You said you wouldn’t be home until late.”

“Doesn’t Daddy look pretty?” Sarah asks, once again dancing around the room.

“Yes he does, very pretty.”

Russ glares at her from under his arm. “I swear to god if you tell anyone.” It’s an empty threat and they both know it.

“But you don’t believe in god,” she tells him. His eyes narrow even more but Clare pulls her cellphone from her pocket.

“What are you doing?” He’s on his feet in seconds.

“Nothing.” Clare darts away from his groping fingers, sliding behind the dining room table. Russ gives chase but not before she’s able to snap off a few very candid, very cute photos of her dear husband.

Eventually he catches her but Clare tosses the phone to Sarah who, with her four year old exuberance, is much better at keep away. Russ holds Clare tight, breathing heavy against her neck. She can smell the strawberry of his lips and the scent of her perfume. She giggles.

“Do you do this often?”

He groans. “You aren’t going to show anyone those? If Lyle or any of the guys see them…”

Clare laughs at the thought. “I think I finally found a way to get you to church on Sunday.”

He pulls back and gives her a shocked look. “You wouldn’t.”

“Maybe just once a month.” He glares. “Once a year?”

He shuts her up with a long kiss, winning the argument.

15. prompt: writers choice 3

Working Hard
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
256 words
rating: PG

Clare has to learn to deal with the dangers of Russ’ job.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
Russ sits in the back of the ambulance but it’s Clare that can’t seem to calm her racing heart. He eyes her so she tries to school her features. She doesn’t think he’s buying it.

“I’m going to have Kevin drive you home.”


“Clare, don’t argue with me-”

“But I’m going with you to the hospital.” She feels an unfamiliar panic rise over her irritation at being told what to do.

Russ pulls off his glasses with his good hand but then just holds them in his lap. “I’m not going to the hospital. I have work to do and it’s just a scratch.”

“You were shot!” The irritation is regaining a hold on her .

“I was grazed… there’s a difference.”

Clare narrows her eyes at him but just then the EMT finishes and Russ slides out of the ambulance. He takes hold of her arms but can’t hide the grimace of pain when he moves. Clare opens her mouth to comment but Russ beats her to it.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve been shot. And it probably won’t be the last. You’re going to have to learn to live with that.”

Clare blanched slightly at the thought but knows he’s right. This is who he is. It scares the crap out of her but could she love him if he was any less?

Russ waves Kevin Flynn over and she lets the young officer guide her to his cruiser. She doesn’t look back at Russ but she knows he’s already returned to work.

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