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Archive for the tag “russ/clare”

Flashback Friday Fic: All They Have

alltheyhaveMillers Kill Mysteries
Russ/Clare
Russ takes a little time off from the busy July 4th crowd to spend a little time with Clare.

293 words | rating: PG



Clare watched the fireworks from her spot on the faded, worn blanket spread out in the grass of the park. Overhead the bright shower of sparks exploded with a loud pop. She jumped, her body going rigid at the sound.

“Flashbacks?”

She glanced over her shoulder to find Russ standing a few feet away, still in uniform, but with his hands jammed in his pockets. She shrugged in answer then turned back up to watch another shower of colors descend over the “oohing” crowd.

“It took me years to not jump at every backfiring car or bottle rocket going off.”

“I know.”

After a moment, he lowered himself to the blanket next to her and sat quietly. She noticed he wasn’t watching the show. “Are you still on the clock?”

“Once a cop, always a cop.” His eyes finally slid over to hers, and she felt her pulse speed up. She quickly looked away, her face flushing under his scrutiny.

Another pop caught her off guard, and she gave Russ a sheepish grin. He just smiled, scooting closer until their legs were touching—not overtly intentional looking, but obvious to her nonetheless. She didn’t even notice the next blossom of sparks; her eyes fixed on Russ. He spread his hands away from his body and leaned back on them, mimicking Clare’s position. As his face turned up towards the show, she felt his fingers brushing against her hand. It took every ounce of will power not to look down at them, not to draw attention to the illicit touch. She swallowed hard and followed his gaze up to the night sky trying to be content in the little gesture of friendship he offered. It was all they had.


This story was originally posted on July 9, 2011. It has been slightly edited for grammar and clarity.
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Millers Kill Mysteries fic: All They Have

All They Have
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
Russ/Clare
293 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS
:

Russ takes a little time off from the busy July 4th crowd to spend a little time with Clare.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.

Clare watched the fireworks from her spot on the faded, worn blanket spread out in the grass of the park. Overhead the bright shower of sparks exploded with a loud pop. She jumped, her body going rigid at the sound.

“Flashbacks?”
Read more…

Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Home She Came

Home She Came
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
Russ/Clare
333 words
rating: PG-13
WARNINGS: major character death

She promised to come home. And she did, just not the way anyone expected. AU before One Was a Soldier.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.


The Army has never been that great with paperwork. So it didn’t particularly surprise Russ that the final word came so late. It took three week for them to get word to the next of kin. And the next of kin didn’t think to inform her “family” for another two weeks.

St. Alban’s Church was packed to the rafters—standing room only. They brought in extra seats and set them up with care in front of the very first pew and down the aisles, making sure to leave enough space to satisfy the Fire Chief. He was in the sixth pew on the right side.

Russ sat up front, crisp and pressed in his best suit. A black suit. He hated it. There was only ever one reason to put it on. Right now he’d like to take it out to the woods and watch it burn. But instead he sat stoically, his mother at his side weeping softly.

He had made her promise to come home. And home she came. Just not the way any of them would have liked. The service was the longest he had ever been to in his life. Everybody had something to say. Everyone except Russ. They had asked him before hand if he wanted to say a few words. There were a lot of words Russ wanted to say, none of them appropriate for church. Reality was he knew if he got up there he wouldn’t be able to hold it together. He’d be bawling like a baby in a moment and he wasn’t sure he could stop if he started now.

Nothing in his life would ever be right again. And glancing around he was pretty sure that went for the lives of every person in the room… of the town even. No one would ever forget Clare Fergusson or what she had done for Millers Kill. Russ may have lost a piece of his heart but the town lost a part of it’s soul.

Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Snippets of Millers Kill (master post)

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 [info]writers30days and are dedicated to [info]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.

1 2 3
Theme Always: The Dance Theme Picture Inspired: Blind Man’s Bluff Theme Touch: Missing the Show
4 5 6
Theme Carry Me Home: Carry You Home Theme Different POV: Star-crossed Theme Exactly 100: Working Late
7 8 9
Theme Death: The Press of Guilt Theme Loved Enough: Happy Couple Theme 10 Years: Party Planner
10 11 12
Theme they fixed it: Mr. Fix-it Theme Lost: Lost Theme Fly: Slipping By
13 14 15
Writers Choice 1: Faith to Survive Writers Choice 2: Pretty Pretty Princesses Writers Choice 3: Working Hard

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.

Back to Prompt Table

13. prompt: writers choice 1

Faith to Survive
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
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
(Russ/Clare)
504 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

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.

“Mommy!”

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
(Russ/Clare)
256 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

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.”

“What?”

“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.

Back to Prompt Table

Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Snippets of Millers Kill (10-12)

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.

Back to Prompt Table

10. prompt: “they told me they fixed it”

Mr. Fix-it
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
264 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Clare asks Russ to come home and fix something. It’s just not what Russ thought needed fixing.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
—–
Russ jams the wipers up to high, a faint whoosh, whoosh, whoosh heard over the sound of midday traffic.

“Please, Russ,” Clare is saying over the phone, “it’s already getting so cold.”

Russ sighs before signaling a turn at the next intersection to head home.

“I thought you were going to call a repairman?” Russ says and even he can hear the distaste in his voice. She doesn’t answer. “Clare?”

“They told me they fixed it.”

“Oh for…” A groan gurgles up along with a healthy dose of disbelief. Must be pregnancy hormones or something, he thinks.

Twenty minutes later he pulls into the driveway of their “brand new” fifty year old house. The garage door goes up with much creaking and groaning but Russ leaves his cruiser parked outside. He stomps through the garage—still crowded with unpacked boxes reminding him of the first time he visited Clare at the rectory all those years ago—and starts fiddling with the furnace off of the mudroom that connects to the kitchen.

After five very confusing and unproductive minutes he gives up, going inside.

“I can’t find anything wrong-” he starts to say but trails off when he sees Clare standing in the very warm kitchen wearing some kind of frilly top that perfectly accentuates her rounded stomach. The words along with his breath catch in his throat.

She smiles coyly at him then wanders off. He can hear her footsteps leading up the stairs and automatically reaches for his radio.

“Fifteen-ten to dispatch… I’m going on break now. Be back in an hour.”

————————–
11. prompt: lost

Lost
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
387 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Clare gets herself lost in a snowstorm (again). Will Russ find her in time?

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
——-
The snow whips around the car, buffeting it and making it rock violently. Clare wraps her coat around her tighter. She bites back the growing worry and accompanying tears that threaten to escape. With shaking hands she reaches out and tries to start the car knowing full well it’s pointless.

The engine grinds and sputters but doesn’t turn over. After a few seconds Clare gives up, her arms reflexively pulling back to her body to retain as much heat as possible. She leans her head back against the seat and sighs. Around the rocking car the snow flutters, blocking her view and piling up on the hood. Over the last hour she’s watched the hood of her car go from candy apple red to a dusting of white and now… now it was solid white going up an inch or two onto the windshield.

She lets her head fall forward, her hands grasped tightly together in her lap and prays. She prays someone will find her and that she doesn’t freeze to death first. She prays for all those people who aren’t so lucky. She prays for her congregation that are hopefully at home and not stuck in the snow. She prays for the officers and rescue works forced out into the storm by idiots like herself. Mostly she prays for Russ because she knows he couldn’t handle finding her car some days later, her cold, lifeless body curled inside. A tear slides down her cheek, burning her cold flesh.

She’s not sure how much times passes before she hears the soft tapping. Her cold, groggy mind doesn’t register the noise at first and she looks around the dark interior of her car with blurry eyes. The tapping pulls her attention to the window. A hand is wiping the coating of snow from the glass then moves to the windshield. As the space is cleared she can see the flashing lights of a police cruiser. A flashlight beam cuts through the darkness and Russ’ face is staring back at her, relief written all over it.

Clare sighs, offering God another silent prayer of thanks then reaches over and unlocks the door. Russ roughly drags her from the car and pulls her into a tight hug.

“You crazy woman,” he mutters into her hair. “When will you learn?”

———————
12. prompt: fly

Slipping By
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
256 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Clare gets Russ back up in the air…that’s pretty much a miracle in itself.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
————
Clare pulls back on the controls lifting the small craft into the air. She feels the rush of adrenaline as the ground disappears quickly from their view. Next to her Russ clutches onto his seat. She smiles reassuringly at him but she doesn’t think it helps his nerves much.

She doesn’t really blame him and, frankly, she’s shocked he even got in the helicopter in the first place. It’s just a joyride—an old army friend offering her a chance to fly his personal chopper—nothing life or death. She jumped at the chance and Russ, god bless him, wanted to come along. She thought she heard him mumble something about dying together but she brushed it off at the time.

After several minutes of flawless, calm flying Russ begins to relax. He leans back some and pries his fingers from the seat bottom. Finally he sighs and opens his eyes. Clare thinks his gasp is more fear but when she glances over he’s peering wide-eyed out the side window. She smiles as the tension finally leaves his body and he can actually enjoy the view of the countryside slipping by.

“Not so bad?”

He just kind of half nods. “It’s not bad when we’re not crashing and dying.”

She snorts in reply and Russ smiles at her. She knows that together they can do anything, overcome anything. And wonders how she ever made it this far without Russ in her life. From the look on his face she figures he’s wondering the same thing.

next set of stories

Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Snippets of Millers Kill (7-9)

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.

Back to Prompt Table

7. prompt: death

The Press of Guilt
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
Russ
343 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: mention of canon death, SPOILERS for book 5

Russ tries to deal with the death of his wife.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
————-
Russ stands numbly at the grave site. It’s been six months since Linda’s death and not a day has gone by that he hasn’t thought about her. Thought about what he had done to her in the last months of her life. Thought about her last moments—thinking Russ had chose Clare over her. He never got to apologize for his angry words, his accusations. The guilt leaves a painful burning in his chest.

He rubs at his eyes, tears pressing out at the corners. He can’t help but feel responsible for her death. But the more he thinks about it the angrier he gets. If she would have just listened to him instead of tearing off in a huff. It wasn’t like he could have left Clare alone to deal with…

His thoughts break off. He tries not to think of the barn. Tries not to think about how close he came to losing Clare, too. Because, really, that’s what it comes down to. It was one of those no-win situations. No matter what he chose someone was going to die. Clare or Linda.

And part of him is more grateful than he cares to admit that Clare survived. The guilt wells up again. He shouldn’t be thinking that. That makes him a horrible person, doesn’t it? Glad your wife died if that meant your—what? girlfriend?— lived? Horrible. He rubs his chest over the spot that is squeezing tightly, making it hard to breathe.

It’s one of those questions he would have asked Clare. If he was still talking to her. He pushes that thought away, too. It’s better this way he tells himself. Clare deserves better. So did Linda, a voice reminds him and the guilt is back in tenfold. He can’t stay here any more—otherwise he’s going to lose his mind to the grief. So he leans down and lets his fingers run lightly over the granite stone, whispering a soft good-bye. He turns and heads back to his truck, head hanging low, disappointed in himself.

————————————
8. prompt: “loved her enough to pretend otherwise”

Happy Couple
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare), Linda
257 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Clare gets a glimpse into Russ’ life with Linda.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
—————–
Clare watches from across the street as Russ exits the police station. He looks good wearing civvies—jeans (worn out in all the right places) and a flannel shirt over a white T. She’s about to cross the street when she sees Russ pause then turn back towards the building, opening the door for a woman in a neat pants suit. She’s extraordinarily pretty with curly blond hair and an upturned nose. She smiles openly at Russ and he returns it in kind before leaning down and pecking her swiftly on the lips.

Clare ducks into the shadows. Linda. She watches as he escorts her to a waiting car, opening the door for her. They chat for a moment, Russ laughing at something she’s said. Clare swallows a growing lump in her throat and glances around. She feels dirty lurking just out of site. This is wrong, she thinks but can’t tear her eyes away from the happy couple.

They continue to discuss something until an obvious decision is made. Linda smiles brightly at Russ, leaning in close for a deep, very passionate kiss. At least it looks passionate from across the street. Clare sucks in a deep breath, feeling an ache building in her chest. She can’t watch any more. She can’t keep doing this. It’s not fair to her or Russ. Or Linda.

Quickly she slips out of the shadow and, without looking back, hurries around the corner away from the intimate scene. Away from the one thing her heart desires… but can’t ever have.

————————-
9. prompt: 10 years

Party Planner
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
517 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: spoilers for book 7

Russ just knows his family is up to something when he returns from work one bluster November day.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
——————
Russ lets out a sigh of frustration as he pulls into the drive in front of their little house. The excessive number of cars parked on the street hasn’t gone unnoticed and he rubs at his eyes, pretty sure of what is to come. Slowly he gets out of his truck and acts like he doesn’t suspect a thing. Clare has to know this would never work.

His shoulders ache after hours of mindless paperwork and his hip protests the effort to move. The brisk November air does little to help. He briefly debates making a run for it. Maybe he could conjure a last minute meeting downtown. Maybe Lyle would call him with a lead in their last breaking and entering case.

He reaches in his pocket and fingers his phone, willing it to ring but it stays stubbornly silent. He notices the curtains in the front window flicker ever so slightly. Oh well, he thinks, heading up the shoveled path. The door is unlocked and he’s sure he hears giggles as he enters, trying to act as casual as he can muster.

“I’m home he calls out to the quiet house.”

There is no answer at first and then the giggles. Giggles and shushing coming from the living room. He sighs, his eyes rolling, as he slips off his coat and hangs it on the hook near the door. With a deep breath he enters the room. A small body bolts from behind the lounge chair.

“Happy Birthday, Daddy!” little Gracie screams as she launches at him. She’s getting a little too big at nine years old but he hefts her up, wrapping her tightly in his strong arms.

“Hmmm, that was the best birthday present ever.”

“Daddy.” She rolls her eyes. “That’s not your present. Come on.”

He follows her further in the room—not that he has much choice with her grip on his hand. He’s barely taken two steps when people begin popping up from behind the furniture and doors.

“Surprise,” they call and Russ groans. Margey Van Alstyne makes her way through the crowd and pulls Russ down by the collar to peck him on the cheek. She wipes the lipstick away with her hand as a collective, “awe,” fills the room.

Brightly colored balloons and streamers fill the kitchen and Clare is standing behind the breakfast bar giving him an innocent look. She mouths, “it wasn’t my idea,” but Russ has serious doubts about that. His friends and family surround him, giving him hugs and pats on the back. Lyle appears out of no where and bumps his shoulder as he hands him a small wrapped box.

“Thanks for the warning,” Russ mutters. Lyle just chuckles.

Eventually he extracts himself from the throng of people and pulls Clare into a tight embrace. “You’ll pay for this,” he mumbles into the crook of her neck. She laughs much the same way Lyle did but plants a huge kiss on his surprised lips. She probably figures that makes them even. And for the moment Russ agrees. He’ll leave the revenge for later.

next set of stories

Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Snippets of Millers Kill (4-6)

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.

Back to Prompt Table

4. prompt: carry you home

Carry You Home
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
393 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Clare gets hurt and needs a little help to get home. Russ is only too happy to oblige.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
—————-
Russ stands in the door watching her with penetrating eyes. Clare feels a shiver down her spine but brushes it off.

“I’m fine,” she tells him but he just grunts his disagreement. “Really, it’s just a sprain.”

They both look down at her ankle wrapped in an ACE bandage and elevated on the edge of her ancient loveseat that she’s smooshed into.

“You need to ice that.”

Clare rolls her eyes. “Thank you, Doctor Russ.”

He grins at that then finally enters the room, standing over her. He looks even taller with her sitting on the sofa. He considers her for a moment. Again Clare feels the shiver. She hopes Russ can’t see it. Eventually he comes to some kind of decision, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“You should be at home resting.”

“I’m fine.”

“Come on,” he says, grabbing her upper arm gently and tugging her up, “I’ll walk you home.”

“Russ-”

“Don’t ‘Russ’ me. I’m sure you can do paperwork and counseling from your living room at the rectory.”

“I suggested that an hour ago,” Lois calls from the next room.

Russ shoots her a look and Clare sighs in defeat. She hobbles all the way out of the church but the path to the rectory presents the same problem it had earlier in the day when she slipped on the ice and fell flat on her rear. Spraining her ankle in the process.

Russ seems to realize the problem at the same time and frowns. She’s watching his jaw work as he decides what to do then catches her completely off guard by hefting her up into his arms with a soft grunt. Clare yelps in surprise, her arms wrapping tightly around his neck.

“What are you doing?”

He just gives her a little smile then somehow manages to slip and slide over to the rectory without killing either of them. “You really need to have someone throw some salt out,” he says as he deposits her on the couch.

“I’ll get right on that,” she mutters. “You could have hurt yourself. Are you crazy?”

“Only since I met you,” he says just under his breath but Clare hears him. He’s out the door before she can respond but she feels her face burning warm and the tingly shiver is coursing through her body again. It’s a good feeling.

————————
5. prompt: different point of view

Star-crossed
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare), Earla
357 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Earla, the waitress, muses on two of her favorite patrons on a Wednesday afternoon.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
—————
Earla has worked at the Kreemie Kakes Diner for a long time, serving coffee up to regulars and large portioned down home cooking to the tourists. She’s seen a lot through out her years. Heard a lot, too. But nothing has put the town of Millers Kill on end like the two people sitting in the window booth, front and center.

She watches as Chief Van Alstyne leans on the table, his head inching closer to the other diner. Reverend Fergusson, in turn, shifts her hand ever so slightly so that it brushes against the chief’s. Earla has heard rumors surrounding the two. In a small town talk travels fast and everyone is fair game. She watches them laugh and look longingly at each other while pretending to not look. She turns away to fill the coffee pot.

Earla’s a god-fearing woman and she knows what the Bible says about this kind of thing. The Chief’s married. The Reverend’s made vows to the church. But when she watches them together she can’t help but wonder how wrong it can really be when two people are so obviously in love. And fighting it every second of the day.

She makes her rounds, chatting and filling mugs, eventually ending at their table. The Chief leans back; the Reverend withdraws her hands, setting them in her lap. They both smile up at her.

“Can I top you off?” she asks.

They both shake their heads as they begin to gather their things. Earla returns to her post at the counter. The Chief pulls on his parka and hat then helps the Reverend with hers, his hands lingering a little longer than necessary on her shoulders. She can see the woman sigh slightly and look disappointed when he moves off but she puts on a brave smile. He tosses a few bills on the table then gestures towards the door.

Outside they zip up and brace themselves against the harsh winter air and walk in separate directions. Earla’s can’t help but wonder if the world can ever be right with those two… star-crossed doesn’t even begin to describe it.

—————————-
6. prompt: 100 words

Working Late
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
100 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Another late night ends with Russ heading for Clare’s house.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
—————-
The kitchen light of the rectory is still on when Russ rolls by at 11pm. He briefly considers stopping before sighing and nosing his truck onto Main Street, heading for home. He gets a block away before his phone rings. He digs it out of his pocket and checks the caller ID. Clare.

He takes a deep breath and answers. “Hey.”

“Hey yourself. How come you didn’t stop?”

Russ smiles to himself. “You saw me?”

“I was waiting and hoping…”

He doesn’t need asked twice, turning around at the next intersection. He’ll tell Linda he had to work late… again.

next set of stories

Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Snippets of Millers Kill (1-3)

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.

Main Table of Prompts

1. prompt: always

The Dance
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare), Margey
337 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: spoilers for book 7

A little glimpse into the Millers Kill wedding of the century.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
———–
The soft music mingles with the tinkle of glasses and the murmur of people. Russ smiles at the woman in his arms. Her curly gray hair bobs and sways with their movements and her eyes twinkle up at him.

“You look happy,” she tells him.

Russ feels his face flush. “I am.” There’s still that slight ping of guilt in the back of his head but he pushes it away.

“I’m so glad, sweetie. You deserve this.”

“Mom-” he starts, trying to warn her off before she says something he’ll regret.

She chuckles softly. “Clare’s been good for you.”

Russ sighs. He knows his mother never liked Linda but this is so not the time to bring it up. She pats his arm in understanding.

“I know things have been hard for you,” she tells him as the music winds down. “But I knew this day would come eventually.”

“Really?” He’s skeptical because there were times he thought he’d never get this chance. He glances over to where Clare is dancing with her father on the other side of the floor.

“I knew the day I met her. The way you two looked at each other.” She snickers quietly. “I knew she was trouble.”

He laughs at that. “Yeah, I knew that, too.”

The music ends and he leans down to place a soft kiss on the top of her head. Clare joins them, her hand touching his arm lightly. “May I have this dance?” she asks with a bright smile.

Margey nods, beaming with what Russ can only describe as pride, but Clare doesn’t take Russ’ hand. Instead she turns to his mom and winks, wedging herself between Margey and Russ. Margey giggles and slips a hand into Clare’s offered one and the other on her shoulder. Russ backs off with a big crooked grin on his face and shakes his head.

“I always knew,” he hears his mom say as he’s accosted by his niece and moves off to dance with the young girl.

—————
2. prompt: inspired by a picture

Blind Man’s Bluff
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
Russ/Clare
381 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Russ shows Clare a glimpse into his life as a kid.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
————–
“What is this place?” Clare asks as they cross through a tangle of viny bushes into a clearing. It looks like an old path.

“This used to be an orchard. Belonged to William Prichard. He died back when I was a kid.”

Clare looks around and can almost picture how amazing the rows of trees must have looked at some point. Now they are overgrown, barely producing fruit. “What happened?”

“He just died. Then his family couldn’t decide what to do with the house. His daughter wanted to sell it but his grandson thought they’d be better renting it out.” He took a deep breath of the fresh country air, watching a bird fly overhead. “The property went into mediation but they never came to an agreement. Eventually the bank forclosed.”

“And it’s sat empty ever since?”

Russ shrugs. “Not many people want to live this far out of town. Especially with the drive in the winter. It’s been rented out from time to time and they used to have weddings here a lot in the sixties and seventies.”

“Must have been a beautiful spot.” She closes her eyes and tries to imagine the orchard in it’s hayday, trees full and green, the smell of fruit wafting in the air.

“I used to sneak over here in high school. We’d all spread out in the orchard and play Blind Man’s Bluff. Well,” he pauses and grins crookedly, “a version of it anyway.”

“Lots of alcohol?”

“Yeah.” He laughs. “Was a great way to cop a feel”

Clare snorts in amusement. She can’t really picture this bad-boy teen Russ claims to have been but the twinkle in his eyes convinces her he’s not making it up.

“Blind Man’s Bluff, huh?”

He smiles and scuffs his boot in the dirt. “I’m ruining my image with you, aren’t I?”

“No, I think I’m finally getting a glimpse of the real you.” He grunts and Clare just grins. She pulls the scarf from her neck and surprises Russ by tying it around his eyes.

“Clare-”

She quickly spins him then steps away. “No peeking,” she calls.

She thinks she hears Russ mumble, “this made more sense with five beers in me,” as she darts behind another tree, Russ already heading in her direction.

————————–
3. prompt: touch

Missing the Show
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare)
415 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: none

Clare and Russ take a little stroll on a warm summer night.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
————
The warm summer breeze brushes over them as they walk along the path in the park. The 4th of July is always the busiest time of the year and Clare is happy she could even find Russ in the crowd. She’s even more happy that he agrees to escort her back to the rectory. He insists it’s to keep her out of trouble. Clare tries not to let him see her grin.

They exit the park through the main gate and continue down the darkening street, he street lights giveing off yellow circles of light every thirty feet or so. There are fewer people the farther they get from the park, only the occasional tourist heading in the opposite direction in a hurry.

“You’re going to miss the show,” Russ says after awhile.

Clare sucks on her lower lip. “That’s okay; this is better.”

She doesn’t look at Russ but she knows he’s smiling. They chat about the weather and the fireworks and how busy Russ is on the 4th. Clare brings up how boring her job is in the summer with most of her congregation heading out of town. They talk about a lot of things but say very little. And Clare really couldn’t care less. The night is warm, the air sweet and full of the sounds of laughing children and the electric anticipation.

Before long they turn the corner onto Elm Street. Russ walks her right to her front door, shadows from the porch covering his face. For a moment she can’t see his expression and she worries she’s made a mistake.

“Um,” she mumbles dumbly after she opens the door, turning back to face Russ.

He doesn’t say anything and in the dim illumination coming from the kitchen she sees the bittersweet smile on his face. He brushes his fingers against her hand, sending shivers down her spine despite the July heat.

“‘Night,” he says quietly, his eyes never leaving hers. For a moment she thinks he might actually lean in and kiss her but after a moment he smiles and turns away.

Their hands remain connected until both arms are stretched as far as they can go without Clare following Russ down the steps. And she’s sorely tempted to do just that but instead she lets his hand fall away and watches him head down her drive, skimming past her little sports car. She shakes his head at it and Clare’s heart skips a beat.

“‘Night,” she whispers to the empty porch.

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