Author's Note: This is my second Jaime/Brienne fanfiction I post here. As already mentioned, I did not figure everything out yet, but I decided to upload it in the hope to get some input from you, my dearest readers, if this is an idea worth digging into, and maybe you can show me some rabbit holes to my story that I didn't even think about just yet.
This story is written by me alone, a non-native and non-archaic-English-speaker, and unbeta'd. Hence, all mistakes are mine, though I hope you can see past them in your overly great generosity for the sake of the plot - and Jaime and Brienne. They deserve fiction written for them.
I didn't read the books yet, so I only rely on my knowledge from the TV series as well as internet research for the matter. If it is inaccurate - blame the sources. I also gave the AU warning for that reason.
I hope that I will keep close to character with Brienne and Jaime, but of course I can't say so in advance, so I hope it won't be too OOC-ish.
I suppose, at least I don't think so now, that I will put great focus on global (i.e. Westeros) political affairs. I may have to reach back to family orders and rules, but I am not too much into these things, so I hope you forgive me if it's a bit... squishy here and there, but my focus is really on how Brienne and Jaime would react to the prospect of a child at this stage of their companionship - and perhaps blooming relationship.
In any case, I hope you'll enjoy it ;)
Oh yes, the disclaimer. I hereby disclaim everything. I own nothing, like Jon Snow knows nothing.
"Wench, where are you?" Jaime curses, his mouth flexing in annoyance, though the annoyance, for a huge part, is only covering his feelings of worry he has for Brienne the Beauty lately.
She withdrew a lot more than she does anyways – and that surely means something.
And here he thought he made her put down her armour for once.
But no, Brienne of Tarth is no easy woman.
In some way, she is so basic that she is already complicated again, while his sister, though far away in his memory now, lately appeared so complicated while in fact she is, deep down, rather basic.
Jaime is not sure what option he likes better, or if he even likes one better than the other.
Yes, he laid with the giantess, had torn off the suit of armour protecting her from tender touches, had stroked her skin, stole her lips, claimed them for a night on cold and dewy moss, the moonlight the only clothing they wore. And for the first time in a felt eternity, he felt warmth coming back to him, flooding back into his burned-out body.
It felt different from any woman he's ever had in his arms… which are Cersei's alone, obviously. With her, it was hot, boiling, sizzling. To give it a name, it was passion, burning lust, mixed with deeply rooted feelings of love, of being able to love someone who had to love him no matter what, for it is their blood that binds love to them both.
With Brienne… it was not the same. He felt warm, comfortably warm, something that came to him as a surprise when staring at her cold sapphire eyes and her otherwise oftentimes cold nature and words. But in his arms, she was the kind of warmth he wanted to creep into and never get back out of. But it didn't burn his flesh. It wasn't hot, just warm.
Indeed, it was… tender, soft – which truly came to him as a surprise, bearing in mind that he chose a wench giantess as his nightly companion on that full moon.
Her skin suddenly felt like silk, her features soft and… caring.
Perhaps that is the odd thing, what made it different: That she looked at him the whole time.
That she was careful not to put weight on his stump of an arm.
That it didn't bother her after all that he is a cripple now.
That she saw only him.
With Cersei, both always had to have their eyes everywhere not to be caught – not that this always worked out, obviously, or else he wouldn't be in the situation he is in right now. With Brienne, by contrast, he found her eyes only looking at his own, their gazes fading into each other.
Yet, ever since it happened, the woman makes herself rare, wanders off most of the time, seemingly trying to find a cave to hide in. Though, to his surprise, it was not right away.
After the night, of course she had the horse saddled by the first beam of the next day, to ride through the seas leading to Tarth to cover her shame, as it seemed, but that was all he expected from her. After all, the Maiden of Tarth considered herself no Lady at all up to that point, when realization dawned on her that a part of her always was and will always be a lady. Jaime had stopped her and made her sit with him. Of course he had teased her more than a bit. In fact, he teased her a lot, to the point that she was crimson on both her cheeks, in anger and in embarrassment.
So he had it coming when she knocked him against the chest hard enough to make him fall off the stone he sat on, right into a puddle of mud. That was when it was her turn to laugh, and for him to turn crimson. Though he admits he deserved that payback.
They talked more seriously thereafter, and she told him that she simply never thought that she'd do it, was shocked at herself at some point, and that to a man she sees as a friend, and definitely "did not wed before the bed," as Jaime had offered with a crooked grin. However, he understood. He knew that she was a virgin when they slept on the moss entangled. After all, he had kissed the small tear away, had held her tight and moved slowly. However, he only understood after her admission the next day that she is a different kind of woman, a new species, almost. She is not the kind of woman out for a good fuck. She is not the kind of woman out to find her prince in rags to marry her and carry her to a better life into a castle and put her in silk and rubies, or sapphires, for the matter. She is no such woman at all.
Brienne is a knight, a Lady Knight, though he doesn't say that to her. She'd surely take offense in it, but to Jaime, it's actually quite fitting. She is a knight, like any other sword roaming around, but she is also a lady, tender in touch, out for a bit of comfort, with hope in her eyes.
And after that conversation, things were just as they were before. They bantered and bickered, or well, Jaime bantered and bickered and Brienne knocked sense into him when he went too far, or came with such a calmly spoken comeback that it left him speechless as she brushed past him to walk ahead with a small grin of victory on her lips.
And to him, it was quite refreshing to see that the woman wasn't all over him now that he officially made her a woman. In fact, their relationship was as platonic as it was before it happened… and the other time it happened thereafter… and that one time… oh well. They are two grown up people, and they have needs, for God's sake.
Not that he would ever say so in front of Cersei. He'd never see the end of it. Well, the good thing is that he is most certainly sure that Brienne is the last one to pride herself with having laid with him of all people. For all it's worth, he thinks she would claim to be a virgin till last if someone dared ask her.
But that peace was interrupted as the wench decided to play this game he never quite understood – and at some point thinks she didn't understand either. Brienne makes sure to walk either five feet in front or five feet behind, checks the horses thrice as much, and excuses herself to the woods to do the deeds of a human being more often in a day than she used to in a week. And he should know. He spent months trotting next to her, or behind her, when she still had a leash on him.
Now, Jaime is not the type of a man who gives a lot on these things. Brienne is a curious case. And while he prides himself having earned her trust, he can't help but feel a little disappointed that, in the end, she seems to be one of the silly maidens formerly roaming around him when back in King's Landing, like moths attracted to even the little bit of light he emitted back then. How they always had the flirt in their small eyes, flashed smiles, but only from the group, surreptitiously, just to duck back under, in the hope that it would catch his eye and his heart along with it. Seemingly, Brienne of Tarth, against better judgment, also has a fable to make him chase her.
Of course, Jaime Lannister would never fall for such basic tricks.
He is a Lannister and Lannisters don't play such foolish games…
Well, his body, however, seemingly didn't get that message yet.
Because his body is chasing the woman through the woods no matter what his name may command.
"Fine, I take the wench back!" he hollers as he wades further through the shrubbery to where he can detect familiar sounds coming from. "Now come out already. If I made you mad, have at least the guts to say it right to my face, woman."
He stops dead in his track when he catches sight of Brienne. She leans against a tree with one hand, the other holding… a big stone. Jaime frowns, not sure what she's intending to do, but that is when the blonde woman raises the stone – and aims at herself, right in the guts.
Jaime jumps and leaps over to her, "Stop! By the Gods, woman! What devil's gotten into you?!"
Brienne looks at Jaime, who is now already holding her arm with his good hand, breathing hard.
"Woman, have you lost your wits? What do you think are you doing?" he growls.
Only now he realizes the quiver in her very flesh, the tremor in her soul.
"Wench," he grimaces.
"Just let me," she says, gritting her teeth. She reminds him so much of the bear he saved her from back in Harrenhal.
Though perhaps she is a little more threatening.
"Let you do what?" he asks, trying to keep his voice calm.
"Go away," Brienne snarls.
"Be a good girl and drop the stone, then we can negotiate about me leaving," Jaime argues, flashing his usual smirk, though it comes off as a mask once more.
"Stop it," she hisses.
"Brienne," he says, now in a softer voice. It's odd how names hold so much power. When she started calling him Jaime instead of Kingslayer or Ser, it made his heart jump for a moment, to be recognized for the person he is, not the things he did, or the titles he got thanks to his lineage. At the same time, her name on his lips bears a similar kind of magic. She is used to him teasing her by calling her wench among other things, but when he says her name in a soft voice, be sure that she will stop for a moment every time.
Gladly, she finally lowers her arm, though she is still trembling and averting her sapphire eyes.
"What is it with you?" he demands, but of course the Lady of Tarth does not say a single thing. "Look, if you are angry over the fact that you and I… did what we did… a few times, then be wise enough not to take it out on yourself. That's not a smart thing to do, though I hope you won't throw the stone at me instead."
She lets out a small hiss, averting her gaze further.
"Look at me," he says in a soft voice.
"No," she growls, though her voice is no louder than a whisper.
"Brienne, please," Jaime tries again. And that is when he sees, sees the sapphires glistening – and the familiarity of that gaze.
He is suddenly back in King's Landing, when Cersei and he were still so deeply in love that it was for him the one reason to live and hold on, despite the pain it caused him.
How she came to his chambers, her composure leaving her the very second she closed the door.
When she told him that…
"Is it… are you…?" he stammers.
"I didn't bleed," she says through pursed lips, not daring to look the man in the eye.
The same eyes, the same fright, Jaime has to realize.
Though Cersei, not for a single second, considered smashing a rock against her womb until the baby would be mush. Instead, her mind started working again and she made plans to lay with her husband more frequently not to pull attention to the dates anymore.
Yet, Brienne is not Cersei.
Brienne is Brienne.
And Brienne is so complicatedly basic that it hurts Jaime's mind and soul.
"Why didn't you say anything?" he breathes, his voice mute, too small to produce an echo reaching through the woods.
"It's none of your business, Kingslayer," she says through pursed lips. Jaime looks at her with a grimace, an angry grimace this time, "Not my… not my business? Are you out of your mind, wench? If you got a child in your womb, then it's mine, is it not?"
She lets out another hiss.
"You laid with no other man, so it must be mine," Jaime says.
"How would you know that I didn't bed someone else? Back in that tavern, huh?" she snorts.
"I know you, Brienne of Tarth, and I've seen the toothless beggars and drunkards in there. You wouldn't take a man that meagre to bed you. So? Why didn't you tell me?" Jaime goes on, unimpressed.
That is the good and the bad thing about her: She cannot lie.
She is too honest for that.
"Do you sincerely believe that I want a child? My whole life, I wanted to escape this lifestyle. My whole life, I fought it with both my fists and both my feet. But then I… I… suddenly I find myself in the same constraints, in the same shackles I thought I escaped from. And just now, you keep me from my escape route," Brienne explains, her head hanging low.
"That stone," Jaime grimaces.
"I do not seek to have a child. I do not seek to be a Lady, because I am not. So yes, that stone is perhaps my one escape," she agrees solemnly.
"You won't hurt yourself," Jaime declares with determination in his voice.
"That is not up to you to say," she argues.
"If you bear one, it is my child, so yes, I have a say, accept it, wench," Jaime retorts, though the 'wench' comes out not really as an insult.
It didn't in such a long time.
"If you think you have any say over my body, then…," she grows, but he interrupts her, "Do you really take me for that kind of a man, Brienne? Is that what you consider me after all we have been through?"
She looks down. No, much to her own surprise, her perception of Jaime Lannister the Kingslayer had to be revised a lot over the course of their journey. He might be many things, but not a man of this nature.
"Look, I do not mean to tell you that you have to do this or that. What I say 'no' to, however, is that you hurt yourself or the child without giving it proper consideration," he tries in a softer tone this time.
That he would ever have to use a soft tone on her… he never would have thought so when he first met her.
"I am a warrior, no lady… no mother," she argues.
"In fact you might be one now," Jaime replies.
"To a child whose father may not even have offspring by the oath he made," Brienne corrects him.
"Well, when it comes to me, I think I deceived most social expectations anyways," Jaime shrugs with a crooked smile.
Blood and dirt smeared.
Down a hand.
Those are surely not the social expectations his name and title force upon him.
"You made an oath," Brienne argues sternly.
"We've had that talk about oaths, don't you remember?" Jaime rolls his eyes.
While he is amazed at the woman's overly strong – the strongest he knows – sense of honour, he is honestly annoyed at times just how far she would go for an oath.
For a few words said.
"Oh, you mean back in the bathtub where you fainted like a tart?" she retorts.
"Ah, there we go, the Brienne I know finally comes back to the surface," Jaime grins.
"Don't you dare mock me," she cries out.
"I'm not mocking you, I assure you," he tells her in all earnest.
"… You'd want that child, is that it?" she frowns.
"I'm good with children," he shrugs.
"I am not," Brienne shakes her head.
"That doesn't come as a surprise to me," Jamie can't help but say. She looks at him grimly, so he corrects himself quickly, "I just mean to say that this is not the end of the world, Brienne. We can find… a solution."
"My solution lies right there in the moss," Brienne says, pointing to the stone once more.
"No, that is most definitely not the solution. Now listen, I care about you and I care about your wellbeing. And the same is true for that child. And anyway, we cannot know for certain just yet if there even is one. I mean, I am none of the Maesters and neither are you. Or have you seen one? Qyburn? I reckon not," Jaime argues.
"No," she shakes her head. "I don't trust that man."
"Maybe it's some other reason why you didn't…," Jaime tilts his head and she completes solemnly, "Bleed."
"Yes," he agrees, earning another grimace from her. "Then why don't we leave… that solution… until we have certainty?"
"Don't treat me like some foolish child," she warns him. Jaime holds up his good hand as a gesture of reassurance, "I assure you, I am not. I just… I don't what you hurt. So please, let's make sure before we do anything we might regret later."
"We?" she cocks an eyebrow at him.
"You and I," he shrugs.
"At some point, I consider sending you go to King's Landing on your own," she admits.
"Now, now, my wench, you have an oath to fulfil," Jaime argues.
"Do not test me, Kingslayer," she narrows her sapphire eyes at him, tiny slits, still shining with such an intensity that it could make people go mad.
"C'mon now, we should find another Maester, no? Or at least some healer who can tell man and horse apart," Jaime argues, putting on the nicest of smiles. He pulls the woman away from the tree, back to the path.
The stone stays behind in the moss.