|The Better Sword
Author: Psyste PM
What if... Arthur Dayne was the sole survivor at the Tower of Joy? How would things be different for Jon and many other characters. Story set at start of AGOT book Assumes R L JRated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 31 - Words: 75,173 - Reviews: 221 - Favs: 123 - Follows: 195 - Updated: 02-15-13 - Published: 08-22-12 - id: 8454522
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer – if you recognise it then it belongs to GRRM
He took a long drink of the wine, an Arbor red if he was not mistaken, and sat back in his chair. He was alone in the White Sword Tower and drank in the silence. Jamie had planned to fully ascend the tower to his apartment on the top floor but the need for the wine meant he stopped on the first floor in the Round Room. He didn't even bother going to the undercroft to remove his armour or holster his sword, which current leaned against the wall still covered in Tyrell blood.
He had positioned his chair so it looked out the window overlooking the main courtyard of the Red Keep. Jamie could see the people leaving the throne room and crossing the yard so he guessed that the session of court had wrapped up fairly quickly after he had killed Ser Loras. Jamie could imagine them all talking about how the evil Kingslayer murdered the brave and valiant Knight of Flowers. It didn't matter that it was a fair fight and that Jamie did not even want to fight the young knight. Jamie felt no elation in what had happened. Ser Loras may have been brash and cocky but he was highly skilled and would have no doubt garnered much glory as a knight. But he was dead, just another victim of someone else's lust for power. Jamie had seen enough of the game of thrones to know that he wanted no part of it.
In truth the only thing Jamie wanted was Cersei. He had long since given up on becoming a knight as great as Ser Arthur Dayne – even if he killed every outlaw, defended every innocent and won every tourney in the known world, his reputation was forever to be tainted by the blood of Aerys in the eyes of his peers. He often wondered how Ser Arthur reacted when he heard the news that it was Jamie who killed the Mad King. Did he regret knighting Jamie that day in the Kingswood? Or did he understand that Jamie had to do it? Wherever Ser Arthur was now, be it alive or dead, he did hope that he believed that Jamie was right to break his Kingsguard vow that terrible day.
Regardless, nowadays all he wanted was Cersei. Since Robert's death he had found it much easier to spend his nights with her and he had taken full advantage of that. She had however forbid him from spilling his seed inside her as a newborn babe would be very difficult to explain. Not that he didn't still find his pleasure with her, she had other means of giving him satisfaction, but it somehow felt more dirty and less like lovemaking. He still returned whenever he could though, he never slept as well when his sweet sister wasn't by his side.
It scared Jamie how much he loved her. He would kill and destroy everything and everyone if it meant they could be together. She only had to ask.
His solitude was interrupted by Ser Greenfield, Ser Oakheart and Sandor Clegane. They all entered the Round Room and stared at Jamie, until Ser Oakheart asked "May we join you Lord Commander?" Jamie nodded in reply and each man took a seat.
As more wine arrived from a young squire Jamie asked the men "Where are the rest of the Whitecloaks?"
Ser Greenfield answered "Ser Trant guards the King and is to hunt with him today. Ser's Blount and Moore will be with us shortly, they just had to drop Lord Renly off in the dungeon. When you left he had a bit of a treasonous rant against the Queen Regent, he was very upset at the death of his….special friend?!"
"Show some respect for the dead Ser Greenfield. Ser Loras may have been young but he was a courageous knight." Ser Oakheart replied crossly.
"Look what that brought him," The Hound grunted, "nothing but an early grave, the stupid boy."
Ser Oakheart shook his head and stood up "What would you know of courage and honour Clegane, you are no knight."
"I know enough of knighthood to know courage and honour do not have a place within it." Sandor snarled in response.
Jamie did not want this to escalate any further so he banged his fist on the table and shouted "Enough!", causing Ser Oakheart to resume sitting and The Hound to storm out, taking a full jug of Arbor red with him. His heavy footsteps could be heard ascending the stairs, no doubt to spend the rest of the day in his room drinking and cursing the world. Perversely Jamie admired Sandor's refusal of a knighthood when he was raised to the Kingsguard. He shared his sentiments in the hypocrisy of it all, something Sandor knew only too well being the brother of Ser Gregor. Sandor's problem was that instead of embracing the falseness like Jamie did, he was bitter about it and turned to drink far too often to block it out. Not that Jamie would ever bring it up with The Hound – he was one of the few men Jamie was not certain he could best in combat.
Ser Oakheart waited until the footsteps had finished before he said "Were he not my Kingsguard brother, I would have taken his foul head." The raised eyebrows of Ser Greenfield told Jamie that Ser Oakheart was alone in this room in believing he was capable of that. Jamie had sparred with all the Kingsguard and Ser Oakheart was the weakest sword aside from Ser Blount. The Hound was by far the best, along with Jamie of course.
Whilst Ser Greenfield and Ser Oakheart started to talk to each other, Jamie found himself staring at his sword. It remained leaning against the wall and a small pool of dark blood had formed on the floor where the end was placed. Small red tears fell down the blade slowly to join the pool. It looked like the blade was cleansing itself, washing away its sins to become clean and pure again. Jamie envied the sword, if only it was that simple.
He was brought out of his thought by the door slamming open. Ser Blount and Ser Moore walked in laughing with each other.
"Did you hear him crying for the Knight of Flowers? Pathetic."
"If he misses his arse getting fucked then I'm sure some of his fellow prisoners would love to help him out!"
Both men chuckled as they sat down and helped themselves to the wine. Ser Oakheart looked at both men with angry eyes but said nothing.
"You fought well today Lord Commander." Ser Blount addressed Jamie.
"Apart from staining my white cloak!" Ser Greenfield laughed.
You soil it often enough yourself , like every time you go visit that draper's wife, Jamie thought but he only said "My humblest apologies" in response.
Jamie had no desire to spend any time with these poor excuses of knights but he was forced to now he was Lord Commander. The Kingsguard was meant to be the greatest knights in the land. But the current bunch consisted of a glutton, a coward, a bully, an unskilled naïve boy, a sloth and a man who refused to even accept a knighthood, all led by a Kingslayer. Compared to the Kingsguard led by the White Bull it was embarrassing. He looked over to the White Book, lay on a side table with a lone quill stood upright accompanying it. In a hundred years when Joffrey's great great grandchild is sat on the throne and there is a Lord Commander looking through the annuls of the Kingsguard, will he consider this time to be lowest point in the Kingsguard history?
Jamie was glad when a young squire, Blount's he believed, brought him a message that he had been summoned to his Father's solar. He swiftly set off in that direction, leaving the Kingsguard to finish the wine. He picked up his sword on the way out and wiped the remnants of Ser Loras on Blount's discarded cloak. The fat fool did not even notice, too busy enquiring about the availability of any lemon cakes.
He walked swiftly out of the White Sword Tower and made his way across the courtyard. There was a light breeze that brushed his face as he walked. A few squires were practicing with their swords, no doubt re-enacting the duel between Jamie and the Knight of Flowers. They all stopped and stared briefly as he passed them, before they resumed fighting twice as hard in order to impress the Lord Commander. The knight in Jamie would have much preferred to stop and help teach the boys, show them some of the strikes and movements he learned from Lord Sumner Crakehall when he was a squire, but the Lannister in him had other duties that could not be avoided.
He walked quickly through the Red Keep and arrived at Hand's solar. He dismissed the guards on the door and entered to find himself in the middle of a war.
"Don't speak to me like one of your lack wit bannermen! I am the Queen Regent."
"If one of my bannermen acted as you do I would have removed his tongue long ago. Or maybe his head."
"Is that a threat?"
"No it is a fact. You must listen more carefully. In fact you should do more listening in general and far less plotting. Perhaps you will listen to your twin brother now."
Jamie stepped into the solar. Tywin was sat in his chair, face as cold as stone, whilst Cersei prowled the room furiously. Jamie lent against the wall and noticed Tyrion was also present, sat in the corner quietly hoarding a large goblet. He smiled at his younger brother and received a raise of the cup in response.
"I take it you are unhappy Father?!" Jamie asked.
Tywin gave Jamie a withering look and responded "Now is not the time for japes. As we speak Mace Tyrell is leaving Kings Landing and taking all his men with him."
"Good! We don't need them." Cersei butted in. She still looked beautiful even when full of rage. Jamie wished they were alone so he could hold her and kiss her to calm her wild temper.
"Are you an imbecile?" Tywin responded through gritted teeth, "We need his swords, we need his ships, we need his loyalty! Your foolish actions have already cost us The North and now they have cost us The Reach and the Stormlands."
"I heard about Renly."
"I had no choice, the things he said... had I not arrested him then it would have led to more questions."Cersei said.
"IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE COME TO THAT!" Tywin shouted, "Now you have driven them straight into Stannis' arms. Either that or they will join with the Tyrells. Either way we are weaker."
"What were you thinking Cersei? Poisoning the Wolf Knight?" Tyrion asked softly.
Cersei looked defiant "If you were real men you would have dealt with Ser Robb as soon as he disrespected your King and not left it to me."
Jamie ran his hand through his hair and sighed. He loved her dearly but she was as uncontrollable as wildfire when she felt slighted or saw an insult against her or her children, if it was real or imagined.
Tywin spoke up "I will NOT discuss this again. Robb Stark did nothing wrong, your actions were utterly stupid and ultimately without merit."
Jamie did not want to listen to this argument any longer. "Father, why do you need me here?"
"To make your sister see sense. There is a way to resolve this but Cersei must play her part."
"I will not be exiled!"
"What?" Jamie asked
"It is not exile," Tywin responded, "you will take a tour of the Free Cities, just like your uncles did, and see Essos in luxury. When the time is right you can return to Westeros, as the Lady of the Rock."
"But my children..."
"They will be cared for. They have their two uncles and me. I will assume the Regency and offer Lord Mace the Handship and his bannermen other positions on the Small Council. Hopefully that will appease the Tyrells and keep their loyalty."
"Lord Mace as Hand?" Jamie asked.
"It should appeal to his arrogance. However he'll have no real power whilst I am Regent."
The plan did make sense, Jamie acknowledged, but sending Cersei away...he could not deal with that. He had an idea. "I could accompany Cersei as she travels, keep her safe."
"Your place is here." Tywin quickly answered.
"Why the fuck would I want you there?" Cersei added, "You could never replace my children you fool."
"It is a good idea." Tyrion joined in unhelpfully.
"Fuck off Imp. I am not going anywhere, none of you can make me."
"Think of it as penance," Tyrion retorted, "Most people get the block for what you did."
"I am guilty of no crime. The Gods have judged that." No my blade judged that, Jamie thought to himself.
"It does not matter. The Tyrells will not co-operate with you here. You have to leave." Tywin stated
She turned to face Tywin. They both glared menacingly at each other, seemingly daring the other to break the eye contact. Cersei was the fierce lioness, Tywin the pride leader.
It was Cersei who spoke first "You can say whatever you want Father but I am going nowhere. If you have a problem with that then you can leave. You can go back to the Rock or fuck off to Winterfell and go join that Northern whore you dishonoured my Mother's memory with."
Jamie could see the rage boil over in his Father's eyes though his face only betrayed this with an ever so slight clenching of his jaw. For Tywin Lannister though, that was a clear sign that he was furious. Cersei seemed to see this as well but carried on regardless "You embarrassed us all Father, fawning after Lady Stark like a lusty sellsword."
Tywin gave her a look that dripped contempt and said "You are in need of a sharp lesson girl."
It was a simple sentence but it meant so much more. Jamie saw his brother wince at the words and the memory of Jamie's greatest shame came back to him. He sensed the danger "Stop now Cersei, you have said enough."
She carried on though "Oh dear, have I hit a sore place Father?"
"Carry on and I'll send you to Essos on a boat in only the clothes you wear now with no guards" Tywin answered.
"I grant you she was comely but she played you for a fool Father. She clicked her fingers and you ran to her."
Tywin ignored her and said "Maybe instead of Essos, I send you to Ser Gregor to be his new wife. He has lost two already, maybe you will be more fortunate."
Cersei still did not back down "You often told us how our Grandfather Tytos Lannister was a weak fool and how he brought shame and ridicule onto our house. Guess history has a way of repeating itself."
Quick as a flash Tywin had circled the table and hit Cersei with the back of his hand. She went down to the floor. Jamie was rooted to the spot, unable to move in his shock, as his father picked her up by her dress, ripping it at the shoulder, in order to deliver another strike. This one did not floor Cersei but he lip was bloodied and her cheek had already begun to swell. Tywin grabbed her hair and started to drag her across the room.
"You talk to me about SHAME! HOW DARE YOU! You have done nothing but disappoint me since your birth Cersei. You were not beautiful enough to interest Rhaegar and force Aery's hand all those years ago. You were too weak to guide Robert or aid our House whilst he sat on the throne. You produced that foul stupid abomination who currently sit on the throne…I have no further use for you."
"Father wait!" Cersei mumbled, blood dripping down her chin
Tywin did not stop "You say you will not leave Kings Landing. So be it, it will be your tomb."
Jamie then realised he was dragging her to the window. Tywin threw her at open space but he hit the ledge and fell to the floor. This did not stop Tywin who grabbed her roughly again and started to force her out of the window head first. She was pleading and crying but Tywin did not relent. Silently he kept aggressively pushing her and resisting her attempts to fight back. His rage gave him the strength of a much younger man and he was winning the battle with ease.
"Jamie, please I need you!" she screamed in fear.
What happened next was instinct. Before he could think about what he was doing, Jamie moved over to the window, the lead in his feet gone, drew his sword and thrust it through his father's back. He quickly pulled it out and watched as Tywin's body fell to the floor. He had pierced his father's heart, he died instantly. Cersei flung her arms around his neck and cried loudly.
"What have you done?" Tyrion asked completely stunned.
"He was going to kill me, he was going to kill me." Cersei repeated through her tears to no-one in particular.
"I….." Jamie couldn't find the words.
Tyrion approached them "You have doomed us all. It does not matter we are of his blood, we will all hang for this. Kevan and the bannermen will not allow this to go unpunished."
Jamie heard his brother's words but he could not find a response. All he kept thinking was the Kingslayer was now also a Kinslayer. Just more shit in the bucket. He wanted to hate Cersei for causing all this but he couldn't. It was just as much him for loving her so much that he would commit yet another grievous sin rather than be parted from her. He held her tightly and let her continue to cry in his arms. He wondered whether he should take his sister and jump with her out the window – they could be together forever then and leave all this horror behind them. It was starting to sound like a palatable option.
Tyrion pushed him hard in the arm to bring him back to the present "Listen to me both of you. Do exactly as I say and we can fix this, maybe. But we must act fast."