Tyrion couldn't sleep. He spent entire morning wondering around the castle and looking for some sort of comfort and peace for the thoughts that were hunting his mind. He kept hearing Sansa's voice and what she told him in the crypt. Your divided loyalties would become a problem…
Were his loyalties really divided? Was there even a reason for them to be divided? Before he came to Winterfell, there was no reason to think that he even owed some loyalty to Sansa, even though she still had them…more than she could ever thing she did. He was in debt with Sansa. He failed her. He made promise to her that he will protect her and he failed her. On the other hand, he was in debt with the queen too. She gave him shelter, safety and she gave him very responsible position at her court. That made him feel divided… On one side, he had his ex wife, a child bride that was married to him as a way of punishment and way for Lannister to take over the North. She escaped his family, lived another sort of hell, raised out of it and grew to be an amazing woman…with a lot of scars and baggage…and on the other side he had his queen who offered him all that he could dream of. He was wondering what would be the best decision for him. What is the side he should pick. As he was thinking about it, raven flew over him and dropped a fold of paper in his hands. He opened it and studied carefully what was written… That sort of gave him the push… He had his answer. It was not what he expected but it was the answer he was looking for. Trouble was coming and he had to figure out how to say the words he had to say . There will be blood after this. So he prayed that the Old Gods and New Gods would offer him protection after he speaks his mind.
Daenerys ordered everyone to gather in order to hold a meeting and make strategy for the next big battle. What remained of the lords came and everyone took their place. Meeting was about to start when Tyrion got up and asked for a permission to speak.
''Your Grace, before you start… I must resign to my place as a Hand of the queen.''
That surprised many of the people sitting in the room.
''What are you saying my Lord?''
''I can't be your Hand anymore?''
''And why is that?''
''Last night…during the battle… I had a lot of time to think and I realized I can't hold my post.''
''Because I want you safe my queen.''
''And you make me unsafe?''
''In that spot, yes… I can't be objective anymore...''
''And why is that?''
''Because last night my loyalties were questioned and I realized that where they stood, I could never be of good use….''
Sansa looked at him very surprised. Was he talking about her?
'' I don't want to betray you my Queen…That is why I must resign.''
Daenerys jumped from her chair and shouted at him.
''That is treason!''
''No, that is being wise my queen… I am getting myself out of your service before I get into situation to choose between you and someone I care deeply for.''
''Your sister? After everything?''
Tyrion was embarrassed for saying this.
''Night king was a common enemy of many of us… Now, this is the war I can't be part of… If you want to kill me for it, let it be… But I will not put myself in a position to even think about picking sides.''
''Is your bond to your sister that strong that you abandon your queen?''
''That is not the bond that makes me do this.''
''Than what is?''
''Yes, your Grace… I have a debt.''
''So what? I forgive it.''
''I can! I am a queen…''
''And I am a Lannister… And a Lannister always pays his debts.''
Sansa and Jamie smirked at that comment. That was so Tyrion. He repeated that same phrase so many times that it sort of became his trademark.
''And who is that debt to?''
He took off his pin and put it on the table.
''Your Grace… It's a long story.''
''I want to hear it! If you want me to let you out of my service, you better make it a good one Tyrion Lannister!''
''As you wish my queen.''
He looked around the room and started his story. He had no idea why he even started there.
''Some years ago I got married… I was foolish and very much in love. I was surprised that a woman loved me, wanted me and believed I was the best man there is.''
People looked at Sansa and giggled. She told them that their marriage was never consummated, but it turned out she did it with the imp.
''It turned out that she was a whore… A whore that had Lannister name now….''
Some man got up and got his sword out.
''You will die imp! You call our Lady a whore?''
Tyrion smiled and shook his head.
''It is very noble that you want to defend your lady's honor, but there is no need for that. It's not Lady Sansa… I am speaking of my first wife… Before I even met Sansa.''
Not many people knew the story. Brienne noticed that Jamie was getting very sad. He knew where this story was going. Entire room was now looking at him… Some were surprised, some were curious where this story would go and some hoped that they would be picked as a new Hand.
''My father payed my wife to…serve… his guards and made me watch… He made me watch for hours as they took turns with her. And then he sent her away…''
He gave one of his sarcastic smiles….
'' I honestly believe he killed her. I never heard anything of her ever again. I wouldn't be surprised if she was built into harem's walls or something like that. It would fit my father's idea of punishment. Father was a cruel man when you don't play by his rules.''
He looked at Sansa, Danny and John…Sansa's eyes were full of tears. She knew some of the story. It was one of the favorite gossips in King's Landing but she never heard it from him.
''I had no idea that my father would pick a bride for me. He was ashamed of me… I was his greatest defeat. He never saw me as his son…or even his child. He had my sister and brother to be his pride and joy… One married a king and gave him heirs….other was a great warrior so he didn't need his imp child to parade around. He put up with me because he had to. And when it came to making political decisions through marriage, I was not on the list either. There were some of the Lannister cousins that were better looking and with all the qualities…on paper… to make good husbands… Only few ladies that survived their torture can tell what they were really like….so the Lannister dirty secrets were safe in the walls of the palaces they lived. I lived my life as I believed I deserved… I was surrounded by women who I had to pay for affection, for respect, for anything. My father forced me to believe that no one could ever care for me…without compensation. I was pretty sure I would never have honorable or even noble wife by my side, so I simply lived my life. It changed at one moment. I met Shae, but she was also a whore… Lord Varys and Pod were helping us meet and spend time together… I got her to be Lady Sansa's handmaiden and hid her like that from my father and his spies… It was the only way to keep both of them safe. I saw how they treated her and I wanted to protect her…Maybe even make up for the weakness and fear I felt before when I didn't protect my wife and I let my father do to her what he did. I saw part of her in the girl putting up with all sorts of abuse coming from my family. I was doing small things, from afar…So she wouldn't know it was from me. I didn't want her to get the wrong impression. I didn't want to court her. I didn't have interest in her or what being key to the North was. I honestly didn't care about any of it. I just saw a girl getting every day more and more hurt. Joffrey was getting more and more cruel to her, along with my sister and I had to give Lady Sansa at least one person who was not working against her. I had Bran or Pod guard her door from the shadows from the night she was beaten in the throne room. ''
Sansa had no idea he did that. She had no idea anyone was there. He looked at the floor a bit embarrassed.
''When two of them couldn't be there, I even sat in the shadows watching her door. I had to protect her. I felt like I had to save at least someone from my family and their madness.''
He looked around the room. Now he had their attention. Now they were not looking at him as a demon monkey and the imp. They saw his as an honorable man who tried to protect their Lady.
''I was so relieved when I heard that she might marry Sir Loris and leave King's Landing. I was happy that at least one Stark could get happy ending… I did know what they spoke of him, but I believed he would be better than any Lannister husband could be. Even she was happy she was getting away from my family. And then my father shattered that too… He told me that either I would marry her or some other man from the family would. I think he even considered himself for the groom.''
Sansa felt sick knowing that she might have been his bride. Now she was grateful to Tyrion for saying yes.
''I didn't say yes to the marriage because I had some sick fantasies about the fourteen year old girl… I married her because I was sure that it was the only way to at least try to keep her safe. Being lady Lannister was different form of prison for her, but I believed it would be more bearable. ''
He looked at Sansa now.
''Your Grace… The point of this story is simple… I made promise to my terrified child bride that I will be there for her and that I will give my best to protect her… And I failed her. She escaped claws of my family, but lived nightmare caused by others. ''
''So you are leaving my service because of your EX wife?''
She gave a look to both Tyrion and Sansa making a point that whatever they had and whatever he believed his debt was, he is free of it. She is not his wife anymore.
''That is where you are mistaken my queen… During the time I spent outside thinking about what am I supposed to do, I got my answer pretty loud and clear. And that is why I must leave your service.''
His queen was furious. She wanted to say and do a lot of things, but John got her out of the room before she could say or do something she might regret. She still had no idea what this story had to do with him leaving? Sansa was his ex wife, he had no duty to her, and as long as Sansa Stark doesn't question her rule, she would be safe and alive. So, Daenerys had no idea what was that all about. The rest of the lords left too… They didn't see the point of sitting there if there was no meeting. Tyrion lifted his gaze and saw Sansa. She got up from her chair and came to him.
''What was that my Lord? What was the point of it all? Why tell them any of it?''
He got the fold out of his pocket and opened it.
''It is a letter of refusal to annul our marriage. Little finger wrote to annul our marriage, but it was refused due to some gossip that we actually did consummate...and the fact that none of us personally wrote to ask for the annulment. When the letter arrived to him, Lady Sansa you were already married to Bolton so he could never prove that he was right writing about our marriage not being consummated… So, your marriage to Ramsey Bolton was not valid… You are still in the eyes of New Gods lady Sansa Lannister… Wife of Tyrion Lannister…''
He gave her the paper to see it for herself. They were standing close to the flame and he looked at her.
''Sansa… You may destroy that paper and no one would know you and I are still married… Or we could make it known…''
''You are willing to let me destroy the proof of our marriage? Why?''
''Because I never want you to doubt where my loyalties lie… I am yours to command my lady… My devious mind, tired body and tortured soul are yours. I leave it up to you do chose what do we do with this knowledge. Do we destroy the paper? Get annulment or stay married is up to you now my lady.''
''What should we do?''
He took a deep breath…
''Even though I know you don't see me as a husband, I know that you are my wife until the day I die…''
With that he left Sansa alone with her toughs and decision to make.