Disclaimer : I own nothing, blablabla.
So this is my very first Jaime/Brienne (or Game of Thrones really) story. I only read the books I haven't seen the show and English isn't my mother tongue so I fear you will need to be thrice more indulgent ;)
This takes place post everything, imagining Dany managed to get her throne and Sansa became Queen in the North.
With A Dream
Jaime would never get used to Winterfell.
Even now, even after discovering the true sense of the word cold at the Wall fighting against the Others, he missed the south. Spring was upon them now, or it would be very soon, a big rebirth, a new era for Westeros – or so they said. Jaime had lived through twice of those supposed brand new golden ages – the fall of a Targaryen and the rise of another – and he was still too lucid to believe it would last. Perhaps it would last a lifetime, perhaps the conjugated forces of the Queen of the South and the Queen of the North would manage to keep peace and give prosperity to the kingdom. Tyrion certainly seemed to believe Danaerys and Sansa capable to do so – not that he would have told Jaime directly, they still weren't on speaking terms.
It was another reason Winterfell was starting to feel like a prison rather than a home. Tyrion had arrived to serve as the Queen's hand – what to do with their marriage was still under discussion as far as he knew – but his brother still wanted nothing to do with him. Jaime had earned Sansa's trust, he had earned his place in her royal guard or so she claimed, she had secured Danaerys' pardon for him. He could stay in Winterfell, don a white cloak once more and finish to clear his honor. She had made the same offer to Brienne, he knew, and, just like him, Brienne still had to give her answer.
Thinking of her naturally brought his feet to the rampart walk she had started to use when she wanted some time alone – a feat in a castle that grew more and more crowded every day. She was there, just like he knew she would be, her huge frame sticking out even in the dark of night. The moon was full and bright, it made her brand new armor glimmer in places. It was blue. Sansa had commissioned it for her but it was him who had chosen the color. The bluest of blue. Sapphire. Like her eyes.
"You're missing out on the feast." he called out to announce his presence. Not that he needed to, she probably had heard him coming because she didn't show the slightest trace of surprise. The paper she had been carrying around for days now swiftly disappeared in her armor and Jaime nodded at it curiously. "Do you have a secret lover somewhere?"
The idea was absurd, of course. Brienne had never been a beauty but the war hadn't been kind to her. Her face was scarred beyond repair and he knew that if she had earned the respect of almost every man in the realm while fighting the Others, she had certainly not earned their love. They were all stupid, in Jaime's opinion, all he could see when he looked at her was her eyes, her gift with a sword, and that incredible purity that was simply Brienne. Lady Stoneheart had destroyed her innocence but still she clung to her honor and oaths of loyalty like others would cling to a shield. The woman standing in front of him was older than the naive maid he had met, like all of them she had lost parts of her to the war, but she was still fierce, maybe even fiercer, honest and so, so very beautiful. He pitied those who couldn't see it.
"My father wrote to me." she said at last.
She didn't glance at him once, she kept staring out the wall, her eyes watching the surrounding countryside as if looking out for an attack that wouldn't come.
"You are refusing Sansa's offer." he surmised.
It wasn't a stab in the dark. If Brienne had intended to accept the white cloak, she would have done it already. Perhaps it was why he had delayed giving his own answer for so long. After all, it wasn't like he had a lot of other opportunities laying out in front of him. Tyrion would get Casterly Rock, Jaime had given up on his inheritance long ago, it was his brother's by right, and, more than that, he didn't want the Rock. He wasn't banned from King's Landing but Danaerys had been clear he shouldn't find himself on her path if he valued his life. His only remaining child was still in Dorne and hadn't expressed any wish to see him, one day he hope Myrcella would forgive him but that day wouldn't come in a foreseeable future and he had nowhere else to go. The Wall was an option, of course, but black wasn't his color.
"I have other duties to attend to in Tarth." she answered softly, a note of regret in her voice. The sadness on her face was quickly swept away as she schooled her features in a determined expression. "My father is getting old, Tarth needs an heir."
He had expected it but still his stomach churned.
"The white cloak is your dream." he pointed out. "Surely…"
"The white cloak was the dream of a silly young girl." she corrected, finally glancing at him. "I have a duty to my family."
He walked closer, standing next to her, shoulder to shoulder, like they had done so many times in battle.
"Did he find you a husband who could beat you in a fight?" he joked.
Her lips twitched sadly. "I'm afraid not. Still, he is letting me chose from the men who petitioned for my hand. It is more than a lot of fathers do for their daughter."
"I could beat you in a fight." he said casually.
"As a matter of fact, you can't." she snorted.
She was right. He had become good with his left hand but he wasn't as exceptional as he had once been. She was exceptional on more than one account.
"I could if I still had my right hand." he argued. "You should have a husband who could beat you in a fight. You swore an oath. I would hate for Brienne of Tarth to forsake herself."
He could feel her stare burning a hole on the side of his face but he kept his eyes on the light coat of snow surrounding the castle.
"Jaime…" she whispered.
"I have nothing to give. No prospects, no gold and no respectable name. I'm basically a beggar." he chuckled. "Truly, I don't even have any honor. If I had some, I wouldn't be doing this, I would do the respectable thing and walk away but, Brienne, by the gods, if you will have me I will marry you."
She was silent for the longest time and he supposed that didn't bide well.
"Why?" she asked at last. "You refused Casterly Rock, why would you want Tarth?"
"Want Tarth?" he repeated, finally turning to face her. He should have done that from the start. Her brow was creased by a confused frown and her eyes were clouded, almost sad. She didn't get it, he figured. All this time and she still wasn't getting it. "Bloody hell, Brienne, I don't care about Tarth! I wouldn't care about Tarth if there was a thousand sapphires there. It's you I want. How should I put it so you finally understand?"
He had tried to tell her a thousand times. He flirted all the time, he had huddled against her to chase the nightly chill for nights on end, he had brushed her hair out of her face when she had been wounded, he had held her hand and refused to move away while the master was tending to her, he had laughed with her in unrestrained mirth when the first dragon had appeared in the sky to chase the Others away, he had embraced her right in the middle of the battlefield when the horns had announced the final victory… And there were a thousand instances aside of that. Everyone in the bloody kingdom already thought they were lovers and still she wouldn't see how he pinned for her.
"Do not jibe at me, Ser." she snapped, her face grim. She turned on her heels and started in the direction of the closest door but he was done with letting her walking away.
"Should I shout it from the highest tower?" he called after her. "Should I go back to the feast and make an announcement? Will you believe me then? I bet they will find it hilarious, I know Tyrion will. The Kingslayer is in love with a wench who's so blind she can't see right in front of her nose. Maybe they will make a song out of it."
He grabbed her arm and spun her around. Their armors clanged together when he pushed her against the wall.
"Why are you doing this?" she insisted. Her eyes were bright with unshed tears.
"Why don't you believe me?" he shot back.
"Because you could have any woman, Jaime, so why would you want me?" she spat. She tried to push him away but he stood his ground, gently clasping her chin in his good hand and forcing her to look at him.
"You truly don't get it, do you?" he laughed.
She didn't like it, she tried to battle his hand away. Like everything with her, it had to be a fight. He wasn't even surprised. He refused to be shrugged away though and pinned her body with his own. She was strong and he knew she could free herself if she really wanted to but she stilled when he started talking again.
"You're the fucking knight in the fucking songs, Brienne." he said. "The one all maidens dream about. Guess, that makes me the maiden."
She shook her head. "Jaime, if this your idea of a joke, it is cruel."
"I am not joking." he growled. He wished he could kill them all, the Conningtons and the Hyles that made her feel this way about herself, that made her doubt herself every step of the way. Or better yet, he wished he could watch as she kicked their asses. "I love you." He let go of her chin, his fingers trailed up her jaw to her scarred cheek, she ducked her head but he simply brushed his fingertips against the marred skin. "I love you." he said again. There was hope in her eyes when she met his again. "You made me a better man. You gave me back my honor." He shrugged. "Refuse me because you don't reciprocate my feelings, my Lady, but don't refuse me because you think I'm having a laugh at your expense. You know me better than that, I hope."
He watched as hope slowly gave way to the familiar spark of determination in her blue eyes and he prepared himself to be rejected for good.
Of course, he should have known better.
Her hand coiled around the back of his neck and pulled him closer. Their mouth clashed against each other, their armors clanged again in a cacophony that would attract attention sooner rather than later. He gave a fleeting thought to the cumbersome metal and wished he could get rid of it, feel her body against his properly. He knew it would be all hard muscles, nothing at all like Cersei's soft curves, but he was longing for it. He had been longing for it for a long time.
Her kiss was clumsy, clearly inexperienced, and he tried to take the lead but she refused to give in. It was only to be expected. If she didn't want to back down and let him face a bear for her, why would she let him take the upper hand in this kind of situation? He pushed harder against her, trying to deepen the kiss even though their armors were in the damn way. When they come up for air, they were both panting.
"I will have you." she whispered, leaning in again to capture his lips. "I will have you, Jaime."
He kissed her again, unable to shake the grin off his lips. He didn't know what the future held in store for them but he was ready to face it as long as she allowed him to stand next to him. It had all started with a dream, he mused, but reality was so much better.