Brian came down, all full of the forgiveness he was ready to give to Roger. Except he found his dad and John tearing chunks out of each other verbally. As he approached he found out what they were saying; “Ye caused him tae run, John!”
“John never made me run away from Roger…”
“Nae lad, he caused Roger to run…” Brian frowned.
“Why?” Neither man felt like giving an explanation, “I’m asking both of you! Right now my boyfriend had walked away from me when he didn’t immediately own up to being married to his father’s fucking housekeeper and he has no reason to fucking walk away in a fit of anger, but I leave him alone with you…” he jabbed a finger in the direction of Lord John. “And suddenly he’s gone, just as I was ready to forgive him. So I will ask again: why did he leave?”
John sighed, “I may have overstepped my mark.” Brian arched an eyebrow, “in the sense that I scolded him for breaking your heart and then…” he hesitated, worried Brian would reject him, “I...I told him about our kiss…” Brian crossed the room and slapped John hard in the face.
“How. Dare. You?!” He was furious and Claire knew it. “You had no right! I was mad but I would’ve told him about it eventually. It wasn’t your place to say!” Brian paced a little then turned back to John, “For penance, you’ll lend me your horse so I can catch up to Roger.” John nods, he knows there’s no arguing with Brian.
A few minutes outside of Lallybroch he saw Roger sitting by the roadside. “Why aren’t you further down the road if you’re going home?”
Roger looked up and shrugged. “I got this far and then...why am I angry? I didn’t even admit to being married, you saw my wedding ring and I should’ve been the one to tell ye… “ Brian slid down the saddle and onto the ground.
“Yeah, you’ll have no argument from me...and I should’ve been allowed to decide when to tell you about the kiss…” Brian holds out his hand and Roger takes it and hauls himself onto his feet. “You want to walk back to Lallybroch? This is John’s horse...may be a bit hard for you to ride knowing that.” Roger merely nodded and they started walking, Brian holding the reins to the horse all the way.
When they got back Jamie and John were still arguing about them, and Brian cleared his throat.
“You found him then?” Brian looked at Roger in surprise and then back at John. “Yes, stupid question.” John takes a deep breath. “Well, I think that…” Brian put a hand up.
“You don’t get to tell us what to do. Roger and I will go upstairs and talk this out and then you can have your turn.” John nodded. “I’m so mad at both of you right now for two different reasons and we all need to talk this out.”
Not waiting for a reply he bounded up the stairs two at a time, just trusting Roger to follow.
“You shouldn’t have left.” He gets pissed off when Roger opened his mouth to argue. “No! You don’t get to speak until I have told you my piece! You don’t think I saw the way she looked at you when I was there? The only way I could deal with how she felt about you was to console myself with the fact that when we went to bed it was just the two of us but now that’s gone!” He’s holding back tears. “She’s got you, and the minute things get hard between us you run away…”
“I was running away from her...I didn’t want you knowing about her because you’d never come home with me…”
“I’m sorry, did I say I was finished and you could reply?” Roger shook his head. “No. So let me finish!” Roger shrank back. “Thank you!” He paced the floor. “You ran away...do you know what that said to me? It said to me that you don’t care. So what if I kissed John? I didn’t marry him and then turn up at your door and not tell you until you see the wedding ring on my hand.” He was trying to hurt Roger, and it was working. “You’ve turned into a rude, selfish, bastard!”
“Enough! I’ve had enough of you telling me what it made you feel, he didn’t tell me to hurt you, or even because he thought I should know. He told me because he’s in love wi ye! I know that look, it was the same one I saw in the mirror whenever I thought of you, what I need to know is how do you feel about him?” He put his hands on his hips.
“I don’t want to tell you that! You’re being unreasonable!” Brian sniffs and looks at Roger who just stands and stares at him. “Alright! I really like him. It hurt me to admit it, even to myself, and then I started to dream about all of us...all three of us with a family...and yes, I know that’s damn well impossible.” Roger pursed his lips.
“Can you forgive me fer not tellin ye I was married?” He made pleading hands and put them to his lips.
“I already did...that’s not the question you need to be asking.” Brian chewed on his bottom lip. “You can ask me what you need to…” Roger shakes his head. “If you can’t ask it then we’re done and you should go home to your wife.”
“I’m so sorry for running away. I shouldn’t have because I had no right to be upset, yer right, yer always right about that.” He looked up” Can ye ever forgive me?” Brian crossed his arms.
“Forgive you for what? For being a pompous ass?” Roger nods. “For being rude to me and to my father’s guest?” Again Roger nods. “For being selfish and only thinking about yourself? For being…”
“Let’s just say ‘all of it’.” Roger looks at him expectantly.
“I do. But I have a few stipulations first...you, me, and John sit down and talk about our feelings. And then if neither of you want to be with me then you can both go back to your wives and I will never bother either of you again.” Roger puts his hand on his cheek and Brian leans into him. “I love you enough to do that for you.”
John is sent up and walks in as Brian kisses Roger’s palm. “John, please sit down.” John sits on the bed and looks at both of them, “We all need to talk. Because I like you and we need to figure out what we are going to do about us. If you don’t want me you can go back to Isobel and I won’t bother you ever again…” He was cut off with John’s hand up.
“I want you, I burn for you...Lord knows I used to think it was related to my feelings for your father but recently I can’t stop thinking about you. I...oh god...I love you! Isobel be hanged, I love you!” Brian looked to Roger who nodded. “What?”
“John, we want to let you into our relationship. Roger’s going to stay here and let his wife file him as dead...but, um, I don’t know what you want to do about Isobel?”
“I can’t stay indefinitely. I will have to go to Isobel at some point but I’d be happy to spend as much time with you as you will allow.” Roger smiles, he’s happy that he’ll have the longest time with Brian.
Brian grins and leaves to tell his parents it’s all sorted. John puts a hand on Roger’s chest, “I can’t tell Brian this but...it’s not just Isobel...it’s also William…” he closes his eyes as he realises how it sounds. “William is Isobel’s nephew whom she is raising after his mother’s death. I don’t want to tell Brian as William is...well he is his half-brother.” Roger frowns.
“And you wouldn’t want to tell Brian he has a half-brother because…?”
“It’s Jamie’s place to tell him when he’s ready. And I’ve already made Jamie angry enough. Any angrier and he might just run me through.” He smiled a little at Roger.
“Alright, I’ll keep yer secret, but I canna promise I willna talk to Jamie about it.” John frowns. “Tae get him tae talk tae Brian about it. Whatever happens to me, Brian needs to know that he has more family than he knows what to do with.” Roger smiles and then goes down and speaks to Brian.
That night Brian is sleeping sandwiched between Roger and John with Roger’s arms around his waist and John’s around his shoulders. Both men pull Brian to themselves, which pulls Brian into an uncomfortable ‘S’ shape. Pulled out of sleep, Brian wakes up both the other men, “Um, this is kind of uncomfortable.” After they let him go. “Please don’t do that again. If you do I’ll go and sleep elsewhere.”
All three men fell asleep again, in their sleep, both men instead pulled themselves closer to Brian's body. Brian had a contented smile on his face the rest of the night.