Jamie and John
By Marianne Hatzfeld
The relationship between Lord John Gray and Jamie Fraser Laird Broch Tuarach is exciting and passionate. Since they first met, in stormy conditions, just before the Battle of Prestonpans, they seem to attract and repel each other in turn. A friendship is born between them, a beautiful friendship, very strong but a complex and tumultuous friendship, between two "honest men".
Jamie, whom we like to think of as the king of men, tolerant and insightful, shows himself, vis-à-vis John, at times intolerant and full of prejudices. His prejudices, received ideas, clichés vis-à-vis homosexuality, are both common in his time but also mainly due to the trauma of his rape by Black Jack Randall. He considers homosexuals to be perverts and depraved. And he tends to confuse, at the beginning of this friendship, blithely, homosexuality, perversion and pedophilia.
Diana Gabaldon explained it well. Her answers that Lucie (Bidouille, known fan of French-speaking groups Editor's note) shared in the group's pages to talk about books, on the subjects of "Claire and a certain gentleman" or "Jamie and John" enlightened me.
I reread the saga, and two novels about Lord John ( The Scottish Prisoner and The Brotherhood of the Sword)through the prism of the meetings between Jamie and John, and the evolution of their relationship. And in this relationship, it is, for me, clearly John who embodies benevolence and selfless friendship. Jamie oscillating between his attraction to John, non-sexual attraction, but intellectual, philosophical, brotherly attraction, and the sharing of literary tastes, for chess, for discussions ... and his distaste for John's sex life, which he does not not hide from him, despite the risks. But since Jamie is smart and intuitive, he tries to overcome his prejudices. Little by little we see it evolving. So I found the most characteristic passages of their meetings. In italics I noted these passages taken from books, which I accompanied with my summaries or analyzes.
The first time they see each other, in Carryarick, immediately there is intensity.
- As told by John:
He still vividly remembered that first sight of Jamie Fraser and the outpouring of emotions it had elicited in him: alarm, panic, dizzying excitement. Her hair above all: tied loosely at the back of the neck, dark red, like the dress of a stag (…) The Brotherhood of the Sword, ch. 21.
- Seen by Claire:
They hoisted the prisoner to his feet and dragged him past the fire. Murtagh grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head back, examining her face in the glow of the flames. Large eyes fringed with long black lashes blinked in the light. “But he's only a child! ". The Talisman, c. 36.
Illustrated and laid out by Marie Modica
Illustration by Yako
When they meet again at Ardsmuir Prison.
- Quarry, the governor leaving the place, introduces the prison to John, who has just arrived and will succeed him. This appointment is a punishment, a sort of shelving. We don't know exactly why, it probably has to do with the private life of John, who has just one idea, to get out of it ASAP:
“Apart from a few not very shy village women, your social life will be limited to a few repetitive conversations with your officers - there are 4 of them, one of whom can pronounce an entire sentence without a foul word, your ordinance and a prisoner (…) you probably have heard of Jamie the Red? Gray felt his blood run cold, but kept a straight face. (...) imagine that it was Ardsmuir who inherited it. He is the highest ranking Jacobite officer we have here. (...) His men call him seums, mac an fhear dhuibh or simply MacDubh
(…) Half the guards fought in Prestonpans and they are afraid of him. They claim he is the devil himself. If you take my opinion, he looks more like a poor devil today. The prisoners obey him with a finger and an eye (..) I invite him to dinner in my apartments, once a week, to discuss business. (…) He has pleasant company, (…) he is a cultured man, his conversation is infinitely more interesting than that of the officers. He plays chess well "(...) before closing the conversation:" Oh I forgot! if you are having dinner alone with Fraser, never turn your back on him. (…) Intelligence is not everything (…) you are probably too young to have seen hatred and despair up close, these are two things that have not been lacking in Scotland since the massacres that followed Culloden ”. The Voyage, ch. 8.
- The memories of Carryarick go back then, mixed with the evocation of his first love: Hector, died in Culloden, killed by the Scots.
“Even all these years later, he didn't know what prompted him to act. The desire to imitate Hector, or simply the desire to impress him? anyway, when he saw the Highlander in the woods and recognized the infamous Jamie the Red, his blood had only changed: he had to kill or capture him at all costs (...) formerly, he had touched a python that a friend of his uncle had brought back from India. It was exactly what Fraser had reminded him of: supple, slippery and terribly powerful, moving with the help of his muscles (…) he had come to himself a few minutes later, tied to a tree trunk. , facing a circle of sinister Highlanders. In the middle of the circle stood Jamie the Red…. And the woman. He is finally released after giving the information requested against the protection of Claire's virtue, which he takes for an English prisoner (...) Of course this story had gone around all of London (...) he had become an outcast, the laughing stock of all. No one had spoken to him any more, except his brother… and Hector (…) the circle was complete. He had dreaded the post, knowing that it would be surrounded by Scots, by their garish accents, crushed by the memory of what they had done to Hector. But never, even in his worst worried moments, had he thought of coming face to face with James Fraser. The Voyage, ch. 8
- John Gray takes his marks in Ardsmuir but he is very reluctant towards Fraser, who witnessed his humiliation at Carryarick:
Since his arrival he had already seen Fraser several times. One would have had to be blind not to recognize him: with his red hair, he was a head taller than most inmates. (…) He had changed. Which was a shock and a relief. During all his years he had remembered a shaven, mocking face. The man in front of him wore a short beard. He looked calm and weary, and if his blue eyes were still so penetrating, he didn't seem to recognize it. The trip. Ch. 9
Signed illustration: Marina C.
- Lord John decides to overcome the memory of humiliation, especially since the prisoner does not seem to remember him. Little by little more and more friendly relations are established, John invites Jamie for dinner, as Quarry had advised him, to play chess, to share literary points of view and, of course, to discuss the condition of the prisoners.
"He (Jamie) went from the promiscuity and cold misery of the cell to the red light and lighted quarters of the Major, where he could, for a few hours, stretch both his body and his mind, relax and enjoy the warmth." , conversation and plentiful food. It gave him a strange impression of disintegration ” . Voyage, ch. 11.
Illustration by Laura Ewing Ferrer
- source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRHCDAfFXjX/
- John lets himself be overcome by a feeling of love. He decides to try his luck:
"That evening John Gray had groomed, he had put on an immaculate linen shirt and silk stockings, he was not wearing a wig but his freshly washed hair had been rinsed with a lemon verbena tonic, then hair. After hesitation he had put on Hector's ring
(…) Hector's blue stone launched a burst of light when Gray held out his hand to take the madman “am I wrong, Hector? to love the man who maybe killed you? Or was it not, on the contrary, the only way to get the two of them back on track, to heal Culloden's games once and for all? her hand rose again, seeming to move like an albatross hovering above the waves then jerked sharply towards Fraser's hand, on which she rested gently, palm tingling, her flexed fingers softly imploring (…) " remove your hand or I'll kill you ”(…) Gray felt the shudder of revulsion and the spasm of hatred radiating through his skin. Suddenly he heard Quarry's voice warning him "if you are dining alone with this man, never turn your back on him". The Voyage, ch. 11.
- To cut short any reconciliation Fraser causes a rupture. During a routine inspection, a piece of tartan, prohibited by law, is found in a cell; John is looking for the culprit.
“Young Angus Mackenzie wore an expression that was a little too frozen, as if he was trying to stop thinking. "It's yours, MacKenzie, isn't it? He called out - "It's mine." The voice was calm, almost tired. Then a large hand moved over Angus's shoulder and gently pulled the tartan out of the Major's hands. (…)
The circle was broken and reformed and he (John) found himself on the outside. Jamie Fraser
was protected by his family (we can notice the reminder of this notion of circle, in the center of which is Fraser, as in the clearing of Carryarick). With an immense effort of will Gray forced himself to look up, the gaze he met expressed exactly what he feared most: it was neither fear nor hatred but indifference. " Jamie therefore suffers the punishment = 60 lashes, instead of young Angus. He finds himself in his cell, physically tested, cared for by his fellow prisoners, but at peace. “As a laird he was born to lead men. Life and circumstances had shaped him to conform to his destiny. But what about the men who weren't born for the role fate had set for them, John Gray was one of them, Charles - Edward Stuart too. (…)
He felt sudden relief. He was provisionally relieved of the burden of responsibility and the need to make a decision. The temptation was gone, as was the possibility of giving in to it. More importantly the weight of the anger was gone, maybe once and for all. So John Gray had given him back his destiny. He was almost grateful to her. The Voyage, ch12.
- Lord John has a personal version of this event, which he reveals to Brianna when they meet much later at Jocasta, Brianna's great aunt. The young girl exercises a rather crude blackmail on John (denouncing him as homosexual, which, at the time, was punishable by the pillory, imprisonment or even more and, in any case, an immense dishonor), for the convince to marry her. But he refuses.
"To name only the most obvious, your father would definitely break my neck!" " " Why ? She asked, frowning. " He loves you; he says you are one of his best friends. "I am honored to receive his esteem," he said briefly. “However, that esteem would cease to exist very soon, when Jamie Fraser found out that his daughter was serving as a degenerate sodomite's wife and broodmare. "And how would he find out," she asked. “I wouldn't tell him. Then she blushed and, meeting his indignant eye, suddenly melted into a laugh, which he joined helplessly. (…) - I said it because it's true. As for your father, he is well aware of the fact. "Where did you… meet my father?" she asked cautiously. -
" In prison. Did you know he was imprisoned after the uprising? (…) " Yes. Well. Let's say I have feelings of special affection for Jamie Fraser, and have been for a few years. He shook his head with a sigh. (…) - "Have you ever seen my father without a shirt?" - "You mean the scars on his back?" »(…) Yes, I saw them. I am responsible for it. "(...)
"Not all of them," he said, staring at a bed of dead hollyhocks. "He had already been whipped, which worsened the situation: he knew what he was doing when he did it" (...) "I was the commander of Ardsmuir prison (...)" He was a officer, a gentleman. The only officer there. He was the spokesperson for the Jacobite prisoners. We had dinner together in my quarters. We were playing chess, we were talking about books. We had common interests. We have become friends. And then, no,… we weren't anymore. He stopped talking. She pulled away from him, disgust in her eyes. - "You mean… you had him whipped because he refused to…" - "No, damn it (…) How dare you suggest such a thing! »(…) But he had already said too much to stop, and he knew it. “We were friends. Then… he found out how I felt for him. We stopped being friends, by his choice. But that was not enough for him: he wished for a last break. And so, he deliberately created an occasion so dramatic that it had to irrevocably alter our relationship and prevent any chance of friendship between us. So he lied. During a search of the prison quarters, he publicly claimed a piece of tartan as his own. Possession was illegal then - it still is in Scotland. »(…) I was the governor, in charge of the execution of the law. I had to have it whipped. He knew only too well that I was. (…) I could have forgiven him for not wanting me, ”he said with discreet bitterness. “But I couldn't forgive him for making me use him this way. Not just forcing me to hurt him, but to degrade him. He couldn't just refuse to acknowledge my feeling; he had to destroy it. It was too much ". -
“There was a reason. It wasn't because of you. But that's for him to tell you, if he wants to. You forgave him, ”she said softly. " Why? »(…)« I hated him as long as I could. But then I realized that loving him… that was part of me, and one of the best parts of me. It didn't matter that he couldn't love me, it had nothing to do with it. But if I couldn't forgive him, then I couldn't love him, and that part of me was gone. And I finally found out that I wanted to get it back. He smiles weakly. “So you see, it was really completely selfish. »The Drums of Autumn, ch59
Ardsmuir Prison must close, most prisoners are sent to the "settlements" but not James Fraser. He leaves for Helwater.
- Lord John:
“You are leaving for Helwater, this is in the Lake District, England. You will enter Lord Dunsany's service to do the menial tasks he wants to give you. "
(…) He (Jamie) threw a murderous glance at the Major's red frock coat imagining those big sky blue eyes infected with blood and bulging as his hands closed over the tender throat…. The trip. Ch. 14
- At first life in Helwater weighs on Jamie, he explains this feeling of desperation to Lord Gray who regularly visits Helwater, being friends with the Dunsany family:
“A loss is not necessarily dishonorable. But I am not only defeated and imprisoned, as required by the law of war, I am exiled, enslaved to an English lord, forced to obey my jailers. Every morning I wake up thinking of my brothers who died, of my men who were taken from me to be thrown at the mercy of the oceans and the savages. Every night I go to bed knowing that my life is only saved to the perverse desire that my body awakens in you ". The Brotherhood of the Sword. Ch20
- John hopes he can forget it, to no avail. He keeps coming to Helwater:
"This effect should have lessened, even disappeared entirely in front of the man in question. Fraser was a Scotsman, a Jacobite, a prisoner, a groom… (…) the kind of person no one noticed, let alone valued. And yet, it was the same every time. His pulse quickened as soon as he walked up the winding path of Helwater (...) then he saw her in the distance, training a horse, fixing a pen ... unless he came face to face with him ... ( …) Each time Grey's heart leapt ”. The Brotherhood of the Sword, c. 6.
- Jamie's reaction to the death of the Countess of Ellesmere, Geneva, intrigues John, and we see here this intuitive intelligence of Lord John: he surprises Jamie praying at night, alone in front of Geneva's coffin, and lying down on the ground.
"Did you know the countess?" (...) Fraser glanced over his shoulder at the coffin. “It’s true that she was a countess. Yes I knew her pretty well, I was her groom ". Gray heard a strange note in that last remark. She was emotionally charged, but he couldn't say which one. The Brotherhood of the Sword, c. 7.
- John goes to Helwater, after his lover and half-brother has been arrested and is likely to be sentenced to death for homosexuality, unless John gives false testimony for him. He comes to Jamie for advice, for he is, to him, an "honest man" in the sense of unfailing honor. He cannot confide in anyone else he can trust. He hopes he can be understood by Jamie.
"I cannot, honorably, allow him to be hanged for a crime that I myself commit and the consequences of which I have so far only escaped thanks to luck." Fraser stiffened slightly. "A crime… that you are committing yourself…" his tone was cautious but his obvious disgust. (…) "This man… he is not only your half-brother, he was also your". He searched for the word "your ... giton?" "He was my lover indeed". His words should have been tinged with bitterness, but it wasn't. Sadness, yes, but above all relief, for having said them out loud. Hearing Fraser's sound of disdain, Gray whirled around. "Don't you think a man can love another? "No," Fraser replied tit for tat. (...) "Do you dare to call love the feelings of a pervert incapable of serving a woman, of an individual who smirks and attacks defenseless young boys? "-" What, you accuse me of attacking children? (…) Gray was making such an effort to control the fury in his voice that he whispered. "Let me tell you, sir, if I dragged you to my bed, I would know how to make you scream!" (…) He only remembered the shock of the impact when the punch hit the wall, inches from his temple. And the scorching breath on his face next to hers, and also a feeling of inexorable disaster. (…) He only saw Fraser's face when he said “I could make you scream”. Oh my God, someone else took care of it! The Brotherhood of the Sword, ch32.
- Years go by, William, the son of Jamie, whose paternity he cannot claim, grows up, Gray has guessed his secret. Little by little, more serene relations returned.
One of the most unexpected aspects of this quiet existence in Helwater was the reestablishment of his strange friendship with Lord John Gray. It was not His Majesty's goodwill that had brought him here instead of condemning him to a perilous journey and a life of near slavery in America, but the influence of John Gray. He hadn't acted for revenge or to have her in his boot, far from it. He never made the slightest advance to her, they barely saw each other (…) No, Jamie had been taken to Helwater for lack of anything better. Unable to secure his release, Gray had tried to alleviate the conditions of his detention, giving him a life in the great outdoors, light and horses. It took Jamie some time and considerable effort to overcome his prejudices. The Voyage ch. 16.
- The three of them are in front of the horse pen: Jamie, little William and John.
Fraser touched her shoulder and the child immediately calmed down. The three of them gazed at the groom riding the young stallion believed… suddenly Gray found the words: "the knight of the white queen takes the black queen" he declared quietly. It was a risky opening. Fraser didn't move, but he felt her gaze fall on him briefly. After a long hesitation he replied "the knight of the black king takes the white fool". Gray felt reassured, it was the response to the Torremolinos gambit, which he had used that disastrous distant evening in Ardsmuir, when he first laid his hand on Fraser. The Scottish Prisoner, c. 40. - From then on, every visit, Gray would come to spend an evening in the stable, sitting on Jamie's rough wooden stool, to chat. The Voyage, Ch. 16.
- Jamie is forced to leave Helwater, the resemblance between him and William becoming too dangerous. Before leaving he has a request and an offer to make to John:
"John, I would be very happy if you served as a stepfather to ... my son (...) in return ... if you want ...
(…) ”. “My dear Jamie, I think I'm dreaming! are you really offering me your body in exchange for my promise to watch over William (…) i prefer your friendship. I will raise your son as if he were mine ”. "You know my friendship is won for you," Jamie replied. Abruptly he straightened up, took a step towards Gray, and cupped his face in his hands. (…) Jamie's lips rested on his. He had the fleeting sensation of a suspended breath, filled with tenderness and strength at the same time. The Voyage, ch. 59
- After Claire returns to Jamie's life, then Little Ian's kidnapping, the couple find themselves in Jamaica: Claire and Jamie are still looking for Little Ian, John is the new governor, Claire and Jamie are invited at the welcome reception of this new governor.
Jamie approached him and greeted him with a nod. “John,” he said in a low voice in English. How happy I am to see you again ”. The governor's mouth opened and closed without making a sound.
(…) He took my arm and bowed again formally and added in French in his normal voice "May I have the pleasure of introducing you to my wife, Claire?" »« CCC… Claire? Finally stammered the governor. " Claire ? ". The Voyage, ch. 58.
- In Fraser's Ridge: John Gray comes to visit, without warning them, Claire and Jamie. He's with 12-year-old William, who doesn't recognize Jamie. John catches measles, and Claire treats him while Jamie walks away with William for a few days, allowing her to spend a few days with him. Claire is annoyed that John came with William, she realizes that she is jealous; accuses him of wanting to see Jamie again and of playing with Jamie's feelings for William. She asks John about his wife, Isobel, who has just died, and John confides in her that he did not feel any sorrow at her death.
"When I heard of Isobel's death, I felt nothing," he said after a moment. We had lived side by side for years (…) I thought his death would destroy me, but it was not. (…) I came to see… if I was still capable of feeling something. If my ability to move me had died with Isobel ”(…). "Now that you're here," I asked, "are you still feeling anything?" ". He stared at me for a long time without batting an eyelid, then with a steady hand he raised the cup to his lips and took a long sip. Yes, he said finally. God bless me ! ". The Drums of Autumn, c. 28.
During the following years, the links are often epistolary. John helps Jamie whenever he can. He takes Brianna out of a bad way. He regularly sends them gifts, always found, books, everyday objects - enough to meet the needs of Claire and Brianna for new experiences - with generosity and dedication. However, the American Revolution is underway. John sends increasingly worried letters to Jamie asking him not to join the rebels.
“From Lord John Gray Plantation of Mount Josiah. My dear friend ... …) My friend, you must dissociate yourself from this kind of organization at all costs ”: Snow and ash, Ch. 59.“ From Lord John Gray to Mr. James Fraser on March 6, 1775 (…) but what the devil are up to you still? (…) Yet despite my explicit warnings, I once again find your name mentioned in several lists of people suspected of treason and sedition, (…) I would not be a friend
Worthy of the name if I did not tell you clearly, you are putting your family in the greatest danger and you yourself put the noose around your neck. ” Snow and Ash, ch. 76.
Until Jamie sends him a letter advising her that they don't write to each other anymore, for the safety of both of them:
“Fraser's Ridge (…) From James Fraser to Lord John Gray, March 16, 1775. My dear John, it is too late, to continue our correspondence could only harm you and it is with the greatest regret that I see myself constrained to sever that link with you. I will remain forever, believe it, your humble and loving friend. Jamie. » Snow and Ash, ch. 76.
Then comes the drama of the sinking of the Euterpe, on which Jamie should have been. Claire and John are convinced of his death, and also desperate. And Claire is in great danger of being imprisoned as a spy. It's Richardson (the new villain?), Who comes to announce the threat to John and he then makes a decision:
“His mind was no longer numb. He was himself again, strong and determined. Finally, there was one last favor he could render to Jamie Fraser. The echo of distant hearts ch. 52 . To protect Claire and her family (Fergus, Marsali and their children…), in memory of Jamie, he convinces Claire to marry him.
Claire thinks about killing herself. She starts to drink more than she should.
“My glass was empty. I filled it again, carefully holding the decanter. I was determined to find oblivion, if only temporarily. Could I split up completely? Could my soul leave my body without me dying first? Hadn't she already done it? I drank slowly, one sip at a time. Then another. A noise must have made me raise my head but I was not aware of having moved. John Gray stood on the threshold of my room. He didn't have a tie and his wine-stained shirt hung limply out of his panties. Her hair was loose and tangled, her eyes as red as mine. (…) Tonight I don't want to mourn him alone ”. The echo of distant hearts. Ch. 54. John's description is startling: ragged, dirty and drunk, so different from the ordinary Lord John who, in all circumstances is cut to the pins. It shows the abyss of despair into which Jamie's death plunges him: does his despair join that of Claire, in intensity?
And Jamie is not dead. He returns to John's house to look for Claire but he comes across William who suddenly understands his parentage because of their physical resemblance. He is forced to flee because the British army arrives, takes John to be used as hostage ... and when he thanks him for taking care of his wife, he tells him everything, to avoid Claire to do so and thus protect her from Jamie's wrath.
“Better to end it. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and commended his soul to God:
"I have known your wife fleshly". He had expected to die more or less instantly after this confession but nothing happened (…) Jamie Fraser was still standing in front of him, watching him, his head tilted to one side. "Ah? he said intrigued. Why ? » The Echo of Distant Hearts, ch. 60.
We change the volume (and I have a thought for the old readers who had to wait several years to have the narration of the end of this interview!). And it is now in the volume "in the ink of my heart" that we find Jamie and John, where we left off, the explanation
Between Jamie and John is both violent and humorous, John having a very high sense of self-deprecation.
“John Gray was resigned to die. He had been expecting it from the moment he let go "I knew your wife fleshly". That the cuckold husband looks at him calmly and just asks him "ah?" And for what reason ”was not only unexpected, it was… scandalous. Absolutely outrageous. (…) Now that he had opened his eyes again, he could see that Fraser's apparent calm was only a facade. "What do you mean by for what reason?" He insisted irritably. And by the way, how come you are alive? "" I often ask myself this question, replied Fraser politely. I take it that you believed me dead? "-" Yes, like your wife. Do you have any idea what she went through when she heard that you had drowned? Fraser's dark blue eyes narrowed slightly.
You would really have to do violence to force you to engage in such an act ”(...)
"We thought you were dead, you moron! he cried Can you hear me? Dead ! and then one evening when we had drunk a little too much ... a little too much ... we talked about you and one thing leading to the other ... don't you understand? We weren't fornicating with each other, we were fucking you! (…) Fraser's features suddenly lost all expression. Gray savored the sight for a fraction of a second before receiving a massive fist just below the ribs (…) “No. Go for it. kill me ". Fraser shook him so hard his teeth rattled and he bit his tongue. He made a strangled sound and a fist he hadn't seen go crashed into his left eye. In the Ink of My Heart, ch. 4.
Then Jamie lets rebels take hold of John, and John's situation becomes chaotic, going from camp to camp, risking being hanged, being forced to don the opposing uniform and suffering terribly from his injured eye. by Jamie. Claire and Jamie meet again, and take the time to explain themselves. She tries to find the words to explain what John has brought her, in this time of desperation, believing Jamie to be dead:
"Two wounds, pressed against each other, the blood still flowing but in another body, mine in his, his in mine, burning, caustic, invasive but giving me life again". "Damn John Gray," Jamie muttered, straightening up "he looked flustered and angry, but not at me. "What did you do to her? "I hit him, twice." " Twice ? I repeated in shock. "Did he hit you the first time?" " " No(…). The first blow was between him and me. I owed him for a long time ”. I actually seemed to understand. A long and deep friendship united Jamie and John, but it rested on very specific pillars, one of them being to avoid any allusion to the sexual attraction that John felt for Jamie. If John, in a moment of bewilderment, had collapsed this pillar which supported them both… (…) “I think of John Gray. In Helwater. Like you, I survived there being paralyzed. (…) I survived. Then there was Geneva, (…) then there was William. When Geneva died, through my fault, I received a stab in the heart, then there was William… he split me in two, Sassenach. He poured out my entrails between my hands (…). That fucking sodomite healed me. He bandaged my wounds with his friendship. In the Ink of My Heart, ch. 24. He poured out my entrails between my hands (…). That fucking sodomite healed me. He bandaged my wounds with his friendship. In the Ink of My Heart, ch. 24. He poured out my entrails between my hands (…). That fucking sodomite healed me. He bandaged my wounds with his friendship. In the Ink of My Heart, ch. 24.
The punch that John avoided in Helwater when he told him "I could make you scream" he receives it at that moment, in Philadelphia, when he says to Jamie "it's you we were fucking".
Wentworth's trauma is still alive with Jamie and he is beside himself when allusion is made to a possible sexual relationship between him and a man. Except that he offered it himself to John to "thank" him for taking care of William. But as he later explains to Claire and as Diana Gabaldon explains very well, this proposal is actually a test.
If John had accepted sex as a reward from someone who does not have this kind of attraction and is in a weak position, he could not have entrusted his son to her (since he confuses still homosexuality and pedophilia) and he would have killed John, lest he abuse the son by trying to find the father. There again, it was to ignore the honor of John, who is doing so in an exemplary way!
I find it admirable how John, for love, guesses Jamie's flaws and secrets, he guesses for Geneva, for William, he even partially guesses the trauma of rape. And he is always ready to devote himself for his friend and his family. And as his brother Hal says
"As I understand it, not only did you marry Fraser's wife, but you also raised her illegitimate son for over fifteen years?" - Indeed. Grey's tone made it clear that he didn't want to discuss it any further. For once, Hal took it into account and didn't insist. I see, he said simply ”In the ink of my heart, ch. 86.
Jamie, in this volume 8, is again reluctant towards John. This is probably due to some sort of remorse: the violence he displayed towards John was unwarranted and even unwelcome. And he has trouble digesting this sexual relationship between Claire and John, despite the explanations. But John is essential for the whole family, starting with their “common” son William, whom Diana tells us that we will see a lot in volume 9.
I also hope that we will still see John a lot, and that this friendship between two men of honor can be rebuilt, especially since if Jamie has a great love for children and grandchildren, for the people for whom he is responsible, he ultimately has few friends with whom he can feel as confident as he does with Lord Gray.
Illustration by Vera Adxer
His instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/vera.adxer/?hl=fr