Nefertiri's Handmaiden

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Dresden or Karrin Murphy, the books or the TV series. I don't own anything.

Note: Prepare for the fluff. Murphy thinks about the gifts she's been given.

Murphy-Dresdencenrtic. Futurefic. Fluffy romancy.


The first gift he ever gave her was before they'd ever kissed, when he was still hung up on Susan and she was just his very, very best friend.

It had been a charm bracelet, and it had saved her life.

It had been simple and ugly: made of her own short blonde locks.

She'd looked at it long and hard before she'd snapped the thin hairs binding it and dropping it in the trash. And then she had made a conscious decision to never think of it again.

But she did.


The next gift he'd given her was many years later, on their first date. Roses. So stereotypical and lame that she'd almost rolled his eyes. But he looked so cute and nervous that she put them in her best crystal vase and thanked him with a kiss on the cheek.

He'd beamed, and suddenly the roses were gorgeous. Because he'd bought them to make her happy.

A week an a half later, when they had withered and died, she'd gently pulled the petals from the stems and dried them. She gathered them in a crystal dish and gave it a place of honor on her vanity. She made conscious decision to be thankful for them every morning for the rest of her life.

And she was.


There were many gifts after the roses. Little ones, mostly. Little thoughtful things every once in a while.

She loved them, though she'd never, ever tell him so. She loved that he was thinking of her.

One such gift had come at the most opportune moment. She'd been buried in a stack of paperwork as tall as she was and her head had been throbbing when he'd stopped by the station for no reason. She'd snapped at him a little as he'd approached her, but he'd raised his hands in a gesture of surrender and declared that he came in peace. From the pocket of his duster he pulled a bottle of extra strength Tylenol and a Hershey bar and presented them to her with a soft smile.

She'd very nearly burst into tears. It was exactly what she needed. Instead, she thanked him with a brilliant smile. Very gently, he'd brushed her hair back. His big hands were rough with calluses and burns, but they were also tender and warm. Just as gently, he'd kissed her forehead. It would have been brotherly, if he hadn't let his lips linger just a little too long. When he'd pulled away, she could still feel him there.

He'd sauntered off after confirming their date for the evening. She'd taken two of the Tylenol with some water from the cooler. When her headache had abated just a bit, she'd very slowly, very reverently unwrapped the Hershey bar. She'd eaten it slowly, savoring every last drop of the delicious, sweet, melting goodness. No chocolate bar had ever tasted so good.

It was then that she realized, quite abruptly, that she was utterly, head-over-heels, irrationally, deeply, completely in love with him.

He was The One.


The next gift of import she received from him had not been expected, but that made it all the more wonderful.

It had come when they were cuddled on his couch one evening after a particularly rough day for both of them. They'd been so tired it had been all they could do to order a pizza and crack open some beer. When all but a single slice of the pizza was gone, the box sitting haphazardly on his coffee table, and they had each accumulated several empty beer bottles on the floor next to them, he'd pulled her close and just held her. In that moment, she felt so cherished that she almost started to tear up.

But it was when he said softly into her ear, "I love you," that she actually did feel tears fill her eyes. She refused to let them fall, of course. It would be silly and Karrin Murphy was not a silly woman.

For a moment there was absolute stillness, the only sound in the apartment Mouse crunching away at his dinner. Then she whispered back, "I love you, too." He held her tighter and she sank into him. Eventually they both fell asleep right there on his couch.


The most expensive gift he ever gave her was an engagement ring. He'd proposed at the most inopportune time: they were both disgusting and covered in various forms of goo, exhausted from the fight, half asleep, and hungry by the time they'd entered his apartment that night. He had promised her the leftovers from his icebox. Instead, he'd dropped to one knee right there in his living room - gooey duster and all - and just blurted it out.

It was the most romantic thing she'd ever seen.

She'd said yes with no hesitation and then pulled him to his feet. They just barely made it to the bed.

But they only thing they'd done there that night is sleep.


The gift she cherished most was one that they gave each other.

They'd only been married a year and a half when she found out. She's suspected, dismissed it, and then reconsidered. And so it came to be that he came home and found her sitting on the bed with a plastic stick in her hand, clearly showing two blue lines.

She was happy. She was terrified. But, mostly, she was in love.

He asked her what was wrong, and she told him. At first he looked shocked. Then he started smiling and laughing and then he was kissing her and telling her he loved her and she couldn't help but feel excited, too.

The baby came in July. It was hot out, and she'd felt so fat and miserable and ugly and useless. He has been at his wit's end trying to keep her comfortable. And then they had a son. A little piece of miracle, resting in her arms.

God, what a beautiful gift. She'd looked up at her husband, beaming proudly, so exhausted and in love she couldn't think. He had kissed her softly on the mouth, and she made conscious decision to be grateful every day for the rest of her life.

And she was.