Chapter 3 - His Honorable Deeds
Tyrion stood where the gates of King's Landing used to be, and just stared. He couldn't begin to fathom what he was seeing. King's Landing was a smoking ruin. Ash and snow mixed together fell from the sky, blanketing everything in a dull grey, making even inanimate objects look dead. People with half of their skin gone walked past him in a daze. Charred bodies littered the street. Buildings were crumbling.
And the smell. Gods, the smell. It took all of his resolve not to retch every few feet.
Davos stood off to his left and slightly behind him, along with Jon. It was eerily silent, like something out of a nightmare. It didn't even dawn on them that hoof beats were approaching until a horse reigned up behind them. They all turned and were shocked to see Brienne of Tarth jumping down off her mount.
Tyrion's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. She ran towards him and dropped to her knees in front of him.
"Lord Tyrion," she said breathlessly. "What happened?" She looked around incredulously at the scene in front of her. When she returned her gaze to Tyrion, tears were streaming down his face. He stared at her for several moments, taking in the sight of her.
"You don't know how good it is to see you, Ser Brienne," he sobbed.
Wordlessly, she gathered him in her arms and held him close. He was completely taken aback by the gesture but was extremely touched and melted into her embrace. She let him cry against her armored chest. She pressed her hand into the back of his hair for comfort. Jon came forward and placed his hand on Brienne's shoulder. She looked up at him.
"Is Sansa alright?" he asked. Brienne nodded.
"She's with Podrick and the rest of the Winterfell guard, she's well looked after. As is Bran."
"Thank you." He said, giving her shoulder a slight squeeze.
"Of course, I would never leave her unprotected." She felt Tyrion start to step back from her and she turned her attention once again to him.
"What happened, Tyrion?" she repeated. He stood there shaking his head slowly and staring at the ground.
"She wouldn't stop. The bells rang and she wouldn't stop." He said quietly, his eyes meeting hers at last. Brienne reached out and squeezed Tyrion's hand.
"It's not your fault," she said. "You can't blame yourself for this."
Tyrion merely nodded. Brienne stood up again and looked towards what was left of the Red Keep. When she saw the damage her heart sank to the pit of her stomach like a rock.
Tyrion followed her gaze.
"Will you walk with me?" he asked her. She looked down at him and smiled sadly.
The four of them continued on. Brienne snuck a glance at Jon Snow. The look on his face registered somewhere between sad, horrified, and like he was going to be physically ill. He was certainly going to have a difficult time facing his love after this, Brienne mused.
As they walked on, Brienne's blood turned to ice in her veins. It was exactly the same as in her dream. The dream that had shaken her to her core and plunged her from her bed in Winterfell and eventually southward to this very point and place in time.
The finally reached the Keep. Tyrion once again stood frozen, staring at the tower stairwell leading down into the tunnels. He turned back to Jon and Davos.
"I think it would be better if Ser Brienne and I went in alone."
Jon simply nodded and Davos set his mouth in a sympathetic line.
Brienne had also been staring at the stairwell, too afraid to take a step forward. She was suddenly very aware and afraid of what they might find down there. She silently followed Tyrion down the winding staircase, or what was left of it, until they arrived at the bottom.
There were mountains of stone and debris everywhere. Brienne felt as if a hole had been punched through her chest, armor and all. Again, it was exactly like her dream, and she was now terrified. Tyrion walked ahead of her, paying close attention to the ground. He nudged various stones aside with his feet. Once he noticed that the exit was fully blocked off, he circled back with a somber expression. He looked up at Brienne and then down again at the ground. He suddenly ran forward and started to move stones at a furious pace, throwing them every which way.
Brienne watched him, not understanding at first, then her eyes flew open wide and she gasped loudly as her hands flew to cover her mouth.
Tyrion had uncovered a hand and an arm clad in burgundy velvet. He began to tremble as he slowly removed more stones, eventually revealing Cersei Lannister's broken body. She was bloodied but still recognizable and surprisingly her face had remained mostly intact. Her crown had been impaled into her skull however.
Brienne leaned over and began to help him move more stones. Where her heart had been in her stomach earlier, it was now rising in her throat, her breathing coming quickly as she began to have a panic attack.
"Jaime. Where is Jaime?" she shouted more loudly than she had intended.
Tyrion began to help her. In moving more stones away from around Cersei, he suddenly froze. He closed his eyes as if to make the image go away, but when he opened them again, it was still there. He reached down and when he stood again, he was holding Jaime's golden hand.
He met Brienne's eyes as he turned towards her, Jaime's hand resting in both of his. She began to breathe erratically, her eyes filling with tears. Then she let loose an anguished wail that echoed around the cavern and made Tyrion's blood still in his veins.
Jaime swam up out of unconsciousness, the scream still fresh in his ears. He wasn't even sure if what he had heard had been real. He forced himself to lay still and listen. The throbbing in his leg was awful and when he moved in the slightest, it sent pain shooting all throughout his body. He again screamed himself, and try as he may, he couldn't stop the tears from coming. It was then that he heard the voices.
Tyrion and Brienne both froze and looked at each other. Without speaking they looked towards the source of what they thought was a muffled scream.
"Did you…?" Brienne started.
"Yes, yes I did."
Tyrion handed her Jaime's hand, which she tucked into her sword belt, and the two of them began frantically pulling stones away from the dragon skull. They were careful not to throw them in the direction of Cersei's body. Brienne actually found she was thankful that there was no roof above them at the moment, as it provided much needed light so they could see what they were doing.
It was getting lighter. He wasn't sure how, but it was. He also thought he heard the sounds of the rocks falling away and at least two people talking back and forth to each other. After what seemed like an agonizingly long time, the stones had been put aside enough to make an opening into Balerion's skull.
"By the gods, he's here!"
It sounded like Tyrion. What was he doing down here?
"Tyrion," he said weakly. He looked up and saw his brother's face peering in at him, his expression one of pure joy and relief. Tyrion pushed more stones aside to make more room. Once he did, he scrambled into the skull and sat next to his brother.
Tyrion noticed Jaime's leg as he sat. He grimaced and looked to his brother.
"We need to get you out of here and get you to a maester." He suddenly looked up and spoke to someone that Jaime couldn't see.
"Be careful when you come in, he's badly hurt."
"Who's with y—". Jaime had gone speechless with awe and emotion when he saw her. He let out a cry and burst into tears immediately and reached for her as she carefully made her way towards him. He tried to sit up and grab her, but he couldn't, so it resulted in him grasping at her until she was close enough that he could grab her arm and pull her to him.
Brienne smiled at him through her own tears. Jaime was literally trying to climb her to get into her arms. She reached under him and gently cradled him to her chest, tenderly brushing his hair back from his forehead and kissing him there.
"Shhhh, shhhh," she attempted to soothe him as he sobbed against her. "I'm here, it's alright. I'm here."
She continued running her fingers through his hair and making soft sounds at him, her tears falling onto his face, mixing with his. He clung to her so tightly, his body wracking with sobs. Years of pent up abuse, anger, hatred, and suppressed emotion poured out of him, leaving him at last.
Brienne looked up at Tyrion and smiled at him, reaching over to pull him into their embrace. The three of them sat there, tangled together, all of them crying.
Jaime looked up at Brienne and cupped her face with his hand. He then looked at Tyrion and brought his forehead against his brother's. His two favorite people in the entire world had come for him. They had saved him, in more ways than one.
"Cersei is dead," Tyrion finally said.
Jaime nodded. "I know."
"I'm going to go and get Davos and Jon and get you out of here and to a maester before you bleed out." He pointed at the belt around Jaime's leg.
"Smart thinking. Maybe you're not the stupidest Lannister after all."
Jaime chuckled through his tears. Tyrion looked to Brienne.
"I'll be back as quickly as I can. Stay with him."
Brienne looked down into Jaime's eyes.
"As if I'd go anywhere."
Tyrion scrambled up and out of Balerion and disappeared back up the staircase.
Jaime reached up again and pulled Brienne down so he could kiss her. He winced when he moved his leg.
"Easy, easy," she cooed softly at him. He couldn't stop staring at her. She looked like an angel to him. "I'm sorry about Cersei." She kept rhythmically brushing her fingers through his hair. Jaime was in awe of how strong and fierce a warrior she was, yet how gentle and vulnerable she could be with him.
"It's alright, love." He replied. "She was already gone when I got to her."
Brienne wasn't sure what he meant by that, but she wasn't going to press him right now.
"I don't want to talk about Cersei right now." Jaime looked deeply into her eyes. "Why did you come? I didn't want you to see this, I didn't want you to be hurt." He said, rubbing her cheek. He then broke into a smile.
"Although I must say I'm glad you didn't listen to me." They both laughed together. "How did you find me?"
A fresh set of tears came to Brienne's eyes. She leaned down and touched her forehead to his.
"I dreamed of you."
Sunlight streamed in the windows of Jaime's room where he had been recuperating. The maesters had been able to save his leg but he would have trouble with it the rest of his life. The extent of that wasn't known yet, as it all depended on how well it mended itself. He reached for the plate of food at the side of his bed and eyed it hungrily. He went for the cheese first, taking small bites at first and closing his eyes in happiness. It felt like he hadn't really eaten in days. Next he attacked the thick brown bread with butter and a slice of cured ham. This time he actually moaned out loud in pleasure.
The door opened and his wife walked in, fresh from her council at the dragon pit. She beamed her brightest smile at him and after removing Oathkeeper from around her waist and setting it gently against the fireplace, she removed her armor and her leathers. She walked to him and sat next to him on the bed. He leaned his head back against the headboard and stared lovingly at her. She took note of the tray on his lap.
"Oh good, you're eating. You must be feeling more yourself today."
"I am now." He said and smiled at her. "Oh! Here, try some of this" He fed her a piece of the cured ham. She took it from him and kissed his fingertips.
"Oh you're right that's lovely." She said, chewing thoughtfully.
"So, what happened? Tell me everything."
Brienne reached out to stroke his bare chest. Jaime closed his eyes and sighed contentedly.
"You are never in a million years going to guess who the new King is." Brienne said, her eyes wide with disbelief.
"Please tell me it's not my brother."
Brienne let out one of her loud laughs. "No, although I'm afraid he is Hand again."
Jaime fixed her with a look of unenthusiastic sarcasm. "You're kidding me."
"Unfortunately no." she laughed again.
"And whose Hand is he?" Jaime asked, his voice rising at the end.
Brienne fixed him with a look. "Bran Stark's."
Jaime's eyes went wide as saucers and his jaw fell open. He looked like he was fighting for what to say and eventually came up with nothing.
"Sansa is Queen in the North, and also secured the North's independence. We are now the Six Kingdoms."
Jaime started again. "Wow, although I suppose that makes sense. As if her own brother would refuse her."
"There's something else." Brienne said seriously. "Something that could affect our future."
Jaime's face fell into a mask of concern. "Are you alright?" He reached for her hand and stroked it with his thumb.
"Oh yes, I'm fine. I've…they've offered me a position on the small council, one that entails quite a lot actually." She took a deep breath. "His Grace has asked that I be Lord Commander of his Kingsguard."
Jaime's face lit up and he pulled her into his arms.
"Oh, love, that's wonderful! I'm so proud of you." He kissed her face all over until she wiggled as if a dog were licking her.
"Do realize what an honor that is? Especially for the first female knight in history?" He beamed with pride.
"But Jaime, Kingsguard can't be married and can't have families." She said sadly.
He waved his hand.
"Accept the offer."
"Take it. I have an idea of how to deal with the technicalities. This is way too big an honor to pass up. Besides, we're already married. If what I have in mind doesn't work out, we can just keep it a secret, which could be quite fun actually." He started kissing her neck.
"Imagine me sneaking into your chambers every night to ravish you senseless and then sneaking out in the morning. Giving each other knowing glances across crowded rooms and courtyards, knowing that when night falls we're going to tear each other apart." His hand went to the laces of her tunic.
"That sounds perfect of course, but I'd rather be married to you where we don't have to hide it." Brienne said, her skin breaking out in prickles as he snuck his hand into her shirt.
His hand roamed all over her as he went back to kissing her.
"Don't worry, love," he mumbled into her hair. "I'll take care of everything."
Jaime pushed the food tray aside and pulled Brienne on top of him.
Tyrion had just finished arranging the chairs at the small council table when they began to file in; Ser Davos, Ser Bronn, Grand Maester Samwell, and finally Lord Commander Ser Brienne, accompanying the King. Once she had positioned Bran at the end of the table, she took her seat.
"We appear to be missing a Master of Whisperers, and a Master of Law," Bran said in his usual passive tone.
Tyrion sat up a little straighter in his chair. "Yes, your Grace. Suitable prospects will be brought to you for an audience in the coming weeks."
Bran's face remained unreadable, yet Tyrion thought he detected the faintest hint of a smile at the corner of Bran's mouth.
"Perhaps I can help with that," Bran said. "I believe I have found you a Master of Law. Just like you, Tyrion, this person needs to fix their past mistakes and will also spend their lifetime doing so…alongside you."
Tyrion's eyebrows shot up and he gave Bran a quizzical look. Bran simply called over his shoulder. "You can come in now."
Jaime Lannister, his head held high for the first time for as long as he could remember, walked into the room. His leg was healing, but he still needed a cane to aid him. He would have full use of it again at some point, but he would carry a slight limp and stiffness for the rest of his days. Jaime figured it was a small price to pay in the end. His beard had been trimmed as well as his hair, which was now swept back from his face. He looked like the proud lion he had once been. He smiled at Tyrion, whose mouth had fallen open while Bronn merely laughed.
"You golden Lannister cunts can't get out of serving no matter how hard you try," he said.
Said Lannister brothers both scowled at him in unison before Jaime turned to wink at Brienne. She blushed and smiled and looked down at her entwined hands. Jaime took his seat next to her. He smelled wonderful, like honeyed soap and new leathers. Brienne found her thoughts suddenly wandering to what she would do to him later that night. She snuck a look at him from under her lashes and when he noticed, he raised his eyebrows and smirked at her. She blushed further and looked down again.
"And Drogon. Any word?" Bran spoke again. Sam and Bronn spoke over each other before Bran simply said "maybe I can find him." He returned to Tyrion. "Do carry on with the rest."
"As you wish, your Grace," Tyrion replied. Brienne looked up.
"Ser Podrick," she called out. Newly knighted Ser Podrick Payne entered the room and stood behind Bran's chair. Jaime broke out in a wide grin and looked at Brienne and then back to Podrick. For the first time in a long while, he felt the pangs of fatherly pride. The grin on Pod's face could not be mistaken either. He was quite proud himself.
They all stood as Tyrion spoke. "We serve at your pleasure, Bran the Broken, ruler of the six kingdoms and protector of the realm. Long may he reign."
The rest of them tried to repeat the words in unison but failed miserably. Tyrion closed his eyes and shook his head. "That will improve."
Bran smiled once his back was to all of them. "I'm sure it will". Once Bran and Podrick were out of the room, they all reclaimed their seats around the table.
Davos looked to Jaime. "So, Master of Law, is it?"
Jaime took a deep breath and nodded. "So it would seem, yes." He raised the index finger on his left hand. "And I must say, the first law I plan on revisiting is the one where members of the Kingsguard are not allowed to marry or have families. That must be done away with," he said with a devilish gleam in his eye as he reached for Brienne's hand and brought it up to his lips where he placed a hungry kiss against her knuckles.
Brienne's mouth fell open and she became flustered. What they did behind closed doors was one thing, but for him to make such a demonstration in public had thrown her. Although they had married in Winterfell, Brienne's new position brought the validity of their marriage into question. Jaime wanted to make sure it stayed intact. He also wanted a more formal wedding in the tradition of the Faith of the Seven, where he could cloak Brienne in Lannister colors, and where what was left of their families could attend.
Tyrion rolled his eyes. "Good lord, it's not going to be like this at every council meeting with you two, is it?"
Jaime looked at his little brother. "Maybe?"
Tyrion once again closed his eyes and sighed. He turned to Bronn.
"Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, Lord of Highgarden, Lord Paramount of the Reach and Master of Coin. Would you say the Crown's debt to you had been paid?"
"In full, my Lord Hand."
"Good, time to start incurring a new one. We have hungry people to feed. Can we expect some assistance in this regard?"…...
Lord Commander Brienne of Tarth sat at the table in her office, the White Book splayed open before her. She thumbed through the pages, glancing over the deeds of the esteemed members of the brotherhood that came before her. She found herself becoming somewhat sad, wishing she could have seen all of these honorable gentlemen in their prime, at the pinnacles of their careers. She had looked up to them all of her life, and now she was one of them. Sometimes she still couldn't wrap her head around it; that she was on equal footing as all of her heroes of the past. She continued turning the pages.
Ser Arthur Dayne…Ser Barristan Selmy…ah, there he is.
Ser Jaime Lannister.
Brienne smiled at his name and his coat of arms. Bright Lannister red with the golden lion…her golden lion. He may be slightly older and worse for wear, but he was still hers. She gently ran her fingertips over his page, stopping to rest where he had written her name as best he could in his non-dominant hand. Stopping to think for a few moments, she eventually reached for the quill and ink to her right.
She began to write his history following their time together in the Riverlands. She had written a few lines when the door to her office suddenly flew open, causing her to flinch and leave a smudge of ink in the margin of Jaime's page. She swore under her breath and quickly returned the quill to the inkwell. Looking up, she saw that her intruder was none other than the man she had been writing about. The newly appointed Master of Law.
"You know, you can't just barge into the Lord Commander's office unannounced," Brienne scowled at him with a hint of playfulness in her voice.
Jaime did his best to feign a pout and walked over to her. Propping his cane against the table, he came up behind her, slid one arm over her right shoulder and the other under her left arm, his hands meeting in the middle of her chest. When he had her in his embrace, he started nibbling on her earlobe, making her squirm.
"Oooh, am I in trouble?" he said mischievously. "Whatever are you going to do with me?" he growled softly in her ear. "Something involving shackles I hope. Yes, shackles and you wrapping those gloriously long legs around m-"
"Jaime Lannister!" Brienne turned to give him a shocked look, and he took the opportunity to kiss her deeply, pulling her even more tightly against him.
"Have I told you how absolutely ravishing you look in Kingsguard gold?" He hungrily looked her over and lightly tapped on her breastplate with his newly repaired and polished golden hand.
"What in the Seven Hells has gotten into you?" Brienne said to him, the corner of her mouth raising in a smirk.
Jaime groaned softly against the soft skin behind her ear.
"Later tonight I'm going to get into you."
If he kept this up, she was going to throw him onto his back and have him right here on the table, in her armor and all.
She tried to affect a mask of professionalism. "I'm working. I don't have time for this. You're going to have to leave. Don't you have laws to restructure or something of that ilk?" Her inability to stifle her giggling gave her away completely.
Jaime brought his good hand up and gently lifted her hair at the back of her neck, which had grown almost to her shoulders now. He began placing languid kisses along her hairline, making her skin break out in gooseflesh. He smiled against her neck, gently rubbing his now-trimmed beard against it, making her breath hitch and her eyes close.
"Well I see someone is feeling better," she quipped.
"When are you coming home?" he purred softly. "I need my punishment, my lady." He turned his face upwards and shoved his nose into her hair, marveling at how silky it was now that she had begun to let it grow long. He loved the way it softly curled, making her look both regal and wildly unkempt at the same time. He especially loved the way it looked when it was splayed out on her pillow when he brought her to the brink of ecstasy.
"The sooner you stop pawing at me, Ser, the sooner I can finish this and come home." She teased him, again trying to play serious. Jaime brought his head around and rested his chin on her shoulder.
"What are you doing, anyway?" His eyes lit up when he saw she was writing on his page. "Oh, how exciting!" he said. "Go on, write nice things about me." He waited expectantly like a child.
Brienne looked up at him to find him in a full grin. She narrowed her eyes at him and pointed towards the door.
"Please," he whined and pouted again.
"The sooner you let me finish this, the sooner I can come home." She repeated and leaned her head back to bring her nose against his. "And punish you all night long if that's what you want," she whispered. Jaime's green eyes sparked and his face lit up in childish delight before he lowered his eyelids seductively gnawed at his bottom lip.
"Promise?" he grinned again.
Brienne shook her head and chuckled. She had never seen him this effervescent and playful before. She was enjoying it. "Yes, love, I promise." She laughed louder. Jaime loved it when she laughed.
"Alright, I'll have supper brought to our rooms."
She moaned and tilted her head back further. "Oh that would be lovely, Jaime. I'm absolutely starving. With everything going on, I actually forgot to eat something this afternoon." Another thought sprang into her mind and she returned his sly look and lowered her voice again. "I think the first part of your punishment will be to bathe me. I'm in desperate need of a hot soak in the tub."
Jaime raised one of his eyebrows in delight and smiled again. "One of my favorite activities."
"Oh, and put furs down by the hearth please if you wouldn't mind," her blue eyes bored into his soul. "You know how I like to lie in front of the fire and dry off after a bath." She brazenly leaned forward and took his bottom lip in her mouth, making him groan softly.
"Are you trying to drive me mad?" he said quite well despite having his bottom lip caught between her teeth.
"Yes, is it working?" she released him and laughed again. He laughed along with her.
"Quite well, actually," he rubbed her nose with his. "I love you. I'll see you soon."
She nodded and kissed the tip of his nose. "I love you, too."
Jaime stood up and headed for the door. Stopping right before he reached it, he turned around again, his black cloak swirling around him. Dressed in a burgundy leather coat, black leather pants, and the Lannister red cravat around his throat, accentuating his god-like jawline, Brienne found him irresistibly handsome. His hair had also been cut short again, the way she loved it. When he caught her eyes lingering on him, he turned around and teasingly lifted the long tails of his coat so she could see his backside.
"Is that better?"
"Will you get out of here, you loon," Brienne said, laughing again.
"Just one more thing," he said. "Once I do manage to abolish the law that decrees members of the Kingsguard are not allowed to marry or have a family…you are going to marry me again and have a family, yes?"
"Is that what you call a proposal, Jaime?" she snorted and shook her head at him again. He narrowed his eyes in thought and pursed his lips.
"Yes, I suppose it is." He winked at her and slid out the door. "Don't be too long!" he shouted right before he closed it behind him.
"Well I suppose it's better than 'hurry up, get dressed, and meet me outside'," she muttered to herself once he was out of earshot.
Brienne flushed deep red and smiled wide. Could this really be her life? Not only was she the first female knight in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, but she held the highest office bestowed upon them. She was also in love, deeply, for the first time in her life, with the former Lord Commander and Kingslayer of all people. The wonderful, lovable, adorably annoying Kingslayer. The man who had saved her in more ways than one. The man who had given her his heart in the form of Oathkeeper, which never left her side. The man who had abandoned all he had known and had ridden North to fight at her side against the dead. A tear of joy escaped her eye and ran down her cheek, landing on Jaime's page in the White Book. She blotted it as best she could, but it left a slightly darkened stain on the page. She figured it would be something to bind them together even in the Book.
Smiling again and thinking about the joys and pleasures awaiting her at their rooms, she once again reached for the quill and continued inking her husband's honorable deeds. Upon finishing, she once again stroked his page lovingly with her fingers.
"There, Jaime my love," she said, smiling. "Rest easy now. Your deeds have finally been written, and you can take your proper place in history…as the good man I saw all along."