It's finally here.
I owe you all a huge apology, and an even grander Thank you for your patience. Thank you to all who sent me PM's and to that one Anon that popped up every once in a while to check on the story and leave a comment.
I hope most of you were not put off by the wait. An Arya/Gendry reunion is just around the corner, I did want to tie a few loose ends with some of the other characters fist before Gendry leaves. Leave a review, tell me what you think, and I welcome asks on my tumblr to discuss the story. I'm in a chatty mood today. Well, enjoy!
She slammed the door behind her with all the rage she felt boiling up inside her, locking it with an exasperated exhale and willing herself to forget Jack's pleading cries. She ripped the bandages off her wrists and inspected the tattoos. The skin around them was red and sore.
Her unpacked suitcase was by her bed and she pulled out a pair of grey slacks and a dark green jumper. Her anxious fingers practically tore Jaqen's dress off herself body.
She slipped into her clothes, and then her boots, the only thing left of hers;snatching her coat off the floor where she'd dropped it earlier as she left the room.
She took the stairs with haste, holding on to the rail for balance. She had no idea where she would go. Anywhere, she told herself. She would take one of Jaqen's cars and just drive. Maybe she could go to Edric. Call him from a public phone if he was no longer at that tattoo parlour. His card was still inside her coat pocket.
"Cat." Jaqen appeared at the bottom of the stairs.
"I'm leaving." she pushed past him, but he caught her arm gently. Carefully. He turned her to meet his eyes.
"You are scared?"
"Disgusted," she pulled her arm from his grip, wincing as her wrist brushed against him.
"Fear. Disgust. They are weaknesses."
"You killed him," she whispered heatedly, "you just... killed him."
"He betrayed me."
"I'm leaving," she turned away from him.
"Alright," he sounded calm, "but first sit. Have a drink."
"No," she called over her shoulder as she rummaged through his key drawer, "I'm taking one of your cars." She held the keys up for him to see.
"One drink. Just one. There is no harm in one drink. We need to talk. I'll drive you myself after. Wherever you want."
Every cell in her body screamed "run". It was pure animal instinct. But a small part of her needed to prove to herself that she had control, and that she was not repulsed by him and that he had no effect over her. Jaqen was already pulling her coat off, gently ushering her towards his study, and she allowed him to, albeit rather stiffly.
"Sit," he pointed to a chair, and she sat. Her eyes, burning with anger, were set on her fists; tightly curled around the car keys. She heard a "pop" and then the soft slosh of liquid filling one glass, and then another. "You want to leave because I killed Jack. You think it was wrong," he placed a glass on the desk before her when she did not reach for it.
"It was wrong," she told him, finally facing him.
The question sent a shock down her legs and arms, and she blinked against the struggle of searching for the answer to that question in her head. "He was a person. He was alive. Now he's dead."
"Something inside you stirred," Jaqen walked in a circle, stopping behind her. "Anger. Disgust. Fear."
Cat merely nodded, feeling sudden nausea.
"The same emotions you need to push aside to continue your training. You can't feel, because feeling is a weakness," She heard him take a sip. "You don't remember why you are here, but I do."
"Why am I here?" she turned in her seat to look up at him.
"Because you want to go after the people that killed your father and your mother. Because a man nearly killed you and you could do nothing about it. You were physically and mentally incapable of fighting your way to freedom and that terrified you and it angered you and you told me you never wanted to feel that way again. You never wanted your life to be in the hands of someone else." he slammed the glass down hard besides hers and knelt so that he was looking right into her eyes.
"It was your desire for revenge, and your desire to be strong that made you push your past aside. You were not pushing your pain of losing your family away. You were pushing away your love for them. You pushed away your love, and hate, and anger, so that you could become strong. It was the only way and you chose it, and now it's trying to find its way back to you. It has before," His hand came up to cup her face and her entire body grew stiff.
"If you walk out that door, you will fail. You will be weak, and your family will still be dead. Those responsible for their deaths will still be roaming free; living life your parents can no longer live, and you will be just that. Angry. Afraid. Disgusted and weak."
Cat's throat was closed tight against so much that was threatening to burst out of her constricted chest. She had a family. She had parents. She just didn't remember them.
"You have a sister. A sister and three living brothers. You can go to them and open up to everything you were and knew. Or... you can stay here. Train to be strong. Stronger. Train to have control over your life. Train to make those responsible for your pain pay. Let go of your emotions." Jaqen's hand fell to her fists. "Everything you felt in that cellar when I killed Jack. Everything you feel inside you right now. Let go of it. It's a small price to pay to bring justice, don't you think?"
Cat wanted to remember them. Her brothers and sister. Her parents. They were dead now. The pain she felt for their was a dull, numb pain. She blamed it on the fact that she didn't remember them.
Jaqen took the keys from her hands and held them before her. "Will you leave then?"
When she tried to remember them a second time, she stopped herself.
This is for you. For all of you. She shook her head no.
It is a small price to pay. She already didn't remember them. What was pushing aside her emotions? Nothing. It was nothing, and she would become that. Nothing. No one.
"I'm glad." Jaqen said, touching a finger to her cheek softly as he stood. This time she stopped herself from flinching.
It was going to take some work.
"Not now!" Sansa pulled her wrist free from Tyrion's, but when she turned to the door Brienne and Sandor were already gone.
"It's important!" Tyrion called up to her and grabbed her wrist again. "It's about Robert."
Sansa turned to him. "Robert?"
"Is there somewhere we can go? To speak privately?"
She frowned suspiciously, unsure of whether to trust Tyrion. He had never been close to his family, so she had only seen him perhaps half a dozen times in all the years that her family had known the Baratheons and the Lannisters. He was practically a stranger.
"Please," he insisted, "It's important."
"Sansa," Robb was pulling her away from Tyrion and coming between them, "we're leaving."
"I need to speak to your sister, Robb. To both of you."
"We have nothing to discuss with you. With any of you." Robb was already pulling Sansa towards the exit, but Tyrion was a few steps behind them, trying to keep up with their hurried steps.
"I am not my sister. I am not my brother. What they have done to your family..." Robb span abrubtly, startling Tyrion.
"They killed my mother and father. They tried to kill my brother. My sister is still missing. She ran away after she saw my father shot to death. I only just recovered my youngest brother. You tell me why I would want to speak to any of you!" He turned before Tyrion could answer, but the small persistent man was behind them once more.
Sansa tried to ignore the staring few that remained in the courthouse corridor as Robb dragged along behind him. "Robb, slow down." she called out in a hushed tone.
"Too many have died. I understand why you hate my family. But would you condemn the innocent?"
This time, when Robb faced Tyrion, he slammed his fist into face, sending him to the floor.
"Robb, stop!" Sansa's voice echoed down the corridor and already a couple of officers were rushing towards them.
"You dare call your brother innocent!?" Robb hissed furiously down at Tyrion. By then the constables were pushing Sansa aside to get to Robb.
"Leave him!" Tyrion held his dwarf hands up at the officers. "I'm fine."
"But, Sir," one of the young men tried to argue but Tyrion shook his head at him, and rose awkwardly from the floor.
"I said, leave him." he glared at the young officers until they nodded and left.
Tyrion turned to Robb, the left side of his face bright red and a bit of blood rimming the side of his mouth. "My brother is not innocent. My niece and nephew are, though."
Robb sighed besides Sansa and wiped a hand over his tired face. "What do you want?"
"I am the Lannister Robert hates the most, so I need you two to convince him that he needs to file for full custody of Tommen and Myrcella."
"But..." Sansa began, but Tyrion held a hand up.
"I know. Tommen and Myrcella are not Robert's children. In some cases, that might be enough to deny him any rights, but Robert did raise them as his own. Legally, they are Baratheon in all but blood and Cersei is clearly toounstable to take care of them. I will try to talk some sense into my brother so that he can admit Cersei was behind the murders, and Robert can keep the children."
"He won't do it." Sansa said softly. " I don't think Jaime will want to involve Cersei in any of this. You saw him in there."
"You're right. But it's worth a shot. Robert may be a lot of things, but he loves those kids. And if he'll have me, I will represent him in court. I care about nothing more than the safety of those children."
"He won't want you involved in any of it." Robb shook head and Tyrion nodded in agreement.
"I'm certain," the small man shrugged.
"I'll do it." Sansa hugged herself stiffly. "I'll speak to him."
Robb and Tyrion's eyes were on her now, and she repeated herself with certainty. "I'll do it."
Tyrion took her hand in his and gave it a small squeeze before letting it go. "Thank you, Sansa."
Small, ghost like flurries collected over the windshield wiper of the police car as Anguy waited impatiently behind the wheel for the light to turn from red to green. He was still not familiar with Sheffield, and he took left after right after left; on and on until he came across a canal where he brought the car to a full stop. He clicked the safety belt off and turned in his seat to peer at Gendry through the fence.
The guy was staring out the window, his face blank of any emotion. For a brief moment, Anguy felt sorry for him. He felt sorry for every poor bastard whose life Jaqen had fucked with.
"Where is she?" Gendry demanded after a long moment, his voice careful and forced.
"Safe." Anguy put as much softness in his voice as he could manage.
Gendry exhaled a strained sigh, his blue eyes darting over their abandoned surroundings as if he were seeking for the right questions.
"You took her." He finally struggled to say.
"We found her, love. Just in the nick of time too. A couple of Lannister fuckers had her tied up in some basement."
That seemed to catch Gendry's attention. His eyes snapped to Anguy and he slid forward in his seat.
"It don't matter. We found her. She's safe and she's fine." Anguy laughed suddenly, "Turns out, before those pigs took her she was on her way back to us."
Gendry relaxed significantly, falling back into his seat with an annoyed grimace replacing his worried frown from moments ago. "She's fine then," he began bitterly. "She's where she wants to be. What do you want from me?"
Anguy let his gaze fall as he considered one last time what he was about to say. Once said, it could not be unsaid, and if things didn't turn out exactly as he hoped...
He let his thoughts end there, not wanting for one brief moment to consider the gruesome consequences for fear that his thoughts would fuck with his ridiculous plan. Gendry's eyes were on his when Anguy lifted his gaze he had to clear his throat for courage.
"Well before we get to that, there's a few things you need to know... Jaqen wants you dead." There. He said it. No turning back now. He didn't wait for Gendry to reply. "I, on the other hand, don't exactly want you dead."
And... Arya has no idea who you are.
He kept that last thought to himself. He would get to that eventually.
Gendry scoffed, turning to the window. "Lemme guess. He wants me dead, and you're going behind his back in some lame attempt to gain my trust."
"I don't want to gain your trust." Anguy said calmly, not one bit surprised at Gendry's conclusion. That was the least he expected from a cop. A stubborn, tightly wound cop at that. "I just want you to believe me."
"Is there a difference?" Gendry shot back at him.
Anguy bit his bottom lip to keep himself from smiling, "Trust me. There is."
Gendry turned to him. "I though you didn't want me to trust you."
"Listen you little smart ass. I'm going to tell you something, and then I'm going to walk away. It's your choice if you believe it or not, and you decide what to do with the information I give you. Alright?" Anguy stabbed his finger in the air to make his point.
For a moment Gendry said nothing, though he could not conceal his slight curiosity at whatever Anguy had to say. Finally, he spoke. "Get on with it then."
Anguy inhaled sharply, preparing himself to drop the big one on Gendry. "Alright. There ain't no fucking easy way to say this, so I'm just going to say it... let it just trip out me mouth as it comes. Arya won't remember anyone or anything she's ever known. Jaqen helped her tuck away her memories in an honestly, ridiculously creepy mental manipulation that I care too little about to investigate deeper. It was done willingly. She chose to do it. She chose to push it all away. And by all, I mean all. All her family and friends. All her memories of everything as far back as she could remember. All of it... She's the reason why I'm here. To give you this one chance to get her out of there. And... that's it, I believe. That sums it up, in a shitty, chopped up sort of way."
Both guys sat in utter, deafening silence for a few seconds after Anguy finished speaking before Gendry let out a pained groan and buried his face in his hands. When he dragged his hands down his tired face, Anguy could see clear moisture rimming his weary eyes. "You really expect me to believe this?" he asked in low voice, slightly louder than a whisper. His words sounded drained of life.
"I understand it's a lot to swallow." Anguy replied softly, once more feeling genuine pity for this guy. "But it's true. As unbelievable... as Hollywood as it sounds... it's all true."
"No." Gendry slammed his palm against the metal barrier startling Anguy against the dashboard. "Finding out who my father is, and that his wife wants me dead... having to flee my home with a poor, grieving girl, being able to trust no one. Not even people I work with, people who have sworn to protect... and then being kidnapped by a group of idiots and taken to their sociopathic leader... Then losing my friend, my self, my memory... that's hard to swallow... That..." he shook his head violently, stirring restlessly in the small back seat. "Even if it was true, do you expect me to believe you'd betray Jaqen to get her out of there." his voice had gone from frantic ranting back to the controlled, drained tone.
Anguy was feeling the beginning of a head ache pressing on the sides of his forehead. He'd had a hard time believing the story himself the night Lem had, in his own, slow crude manner, told him it. How did he expect this guy to believe him? How to make him believe?
"Do you remember the morning after you got this," Anguy tapped his brow at the same spot where Gendry had the scar; partially covered by his longer hair. Gendry nodded. "She did a shit job sewing you up." Anguy smiled softly, and noticed how the strained expression on Gendry's face softened a bit.
"That morning after breakfast I had a small chat with her. I forget how Jaqen came up in the conversation, but she asked me why I was with him. I told her about my mother. How she was sick, and I hacked into the hospital system and changed the plan on her insurance so she could get treated. I told her how Jaqen has a way of finding people like me. People he can use. People he can manipulate. He pulled me out of prison and paid for all of my mother's medical expenses. Made sure she was well taken care of. Made sure that when she was released from the hospital, she went home to a larger, well-furnished home, with a nurse to tend to her every need... He took care of my mother, and he came to me with an offer. I was younger at the time, but I understood I could not refuse Jaqen. Over the years I've grown to enjoy what I do, and I no longer feel like I was given no choice. I feel like I was given a great opportunity. Arya didn't agree with me. She said that just because Jaqen helped my mother didn't mean I owed him my life. She said I could take my mother somewhere and disappear, and be free. That morning Arya looked and sounded like a girl who was disgusted by what Jaqen had done to me."
"Why are you telling me this?" Gendry asked behind the barrier.
"Because something happened. Between the moment Jaqen offered to join her against the Lannisters- the night Lem gave you that cut- and the moment she decided to leave you and go back to Jaqen. Something happened that made her go back, and I don't know what it was, but I know that one day, you two were gone, and the next time I see her, she has no idea who I am or who she is. She had locked away her memories and her humanity, something so unlike her, because that girl is one of the bravest kids I've ever met. It doesn't make any sense."
"Something did happen." Gendry said suddenly, sitting up in his seat.
"I killed a man." Gendry confessed in a rather disgusted tone. "The Lannister man found dead in France. You must have heard about it?" Anguy nodded. "That was me . . . " Gendry's gaze fell. "I killed him."
"Why would that make her leave? Why would it make her want to push herself away?"
Gendry shook his head. "I'm not sure."
Anguy reached inside the pocket of a coat that was folded over the front seat of the car and pulled out a small red envelope. He slid it through a slit at the bottom of the fence and Gendry grabbed it, turning it to open it.
"You have three days to figure out how you're going to do this." Anguy said as Gendry pulled the red invitation out of the envelope and began to skim over the curled font. "She'll be there. So will Jaqen. It's a masquerade though." Anguy pushed a finger through the fence and pointed at the part of the invitation that stated it was a masqued event. "You have that advantage, that and the fact that he'll think you dead by then. I'll make sure of it" he shrugged his thin shoulder with a sad smile and pulled his finger back to his side of the car. "It's almost not enough time and it feels like a trap, I know. But it's the only window you have I'm afraid, and I'm leaving the latch open. Take advantage."
"This does feel like a trap." Gendry set the invitation down but he did not sound suspicious.
"I have Jaqen's private jet waiting for me. I could have taken us there and taken you to him without all these theatrics."
"Perhaps Jaqen likes these theatrics."
"Take it Gendry. The sooner she's away from him the better." Gendry's eyes fell on the invitation. "She won't remember, so you have to be careful about how you approach her. She has remembered before, and can remember again. Maybe you'll stir something up there in her old cerebro." Anguy turned to his car door and clicked the lock on Gendry's door open. "I've done a marvellous job of securing you this invitation and cleaning my tracks. Don't fuck it up. As soon as you walk out of this car, you forget this conversation. You're on your own. There's a parcel in that seat pocket there. It has your new papers. Now get the fuck out, please, I have a flight to catch."
Gendry reached for the parcel behind one of the seats and pushed himself out the door. "Good luck." Anguy nodded at him and was about to take the careful nod the Gendry gave him in return as the only thank you he would get when the guy ducked his head back into the car.
"Thank you, Anguy."
"I'm not doing it for you, mate. But you're welcome." Anguy flashed him one of his cocky smiles and turned the engine on.
He had most likely just signed his death sentence.
The small cafe was growing fuller and warmer and Sandor was on his second cup of coffee, which was not helping his nerves. If the small voiced waitress stopped by his booth and asked, "More coffee?" one more time, he was sure he would snap.
He began fussing around the pockets of his coat, which was draped beside him, until he came upon his small flask. Eager fingers unscrewed the cap and he didn't even care who was looking as he poured the dark liquid into the darker one in his mug. Outside, the tall beast that was Brienne crossed the street, darting through the slow traffic, head towering well above everyone else's. She pushed into the cafe and found him easily, pulling off her scarf.
"Have you been waiting long?" she asked him in her low voice as she shrugged out of her coat and slid into the seat across from his.
"Not too long." he took a sip of his coffee. "Do you know what this is about?"
"No." she picked one of the clean mugs off the table and turned around the room until she caught their waitress'attention. The girl nodded at them with a smile and made her way to their table. She filled Brienne's coffee mug and went on to tell Brienne about their special. Sandor took another sip, meeting the gaze of a lady a few booths down from theirs. He held her gaze until she turned away and then swigged down the rest of the coffee. The chirpy waitress was still there, taking down Brienne's order, and she turned to Sandor with a small smile, raising her pot of coffee at him. He nodded at her. When she was gone, he pulled his flask out again.
Across the table Brienne was fixing her coffee with sugar and cream, and her eyes caught Sandor's. He held the flask up at her and she shook her head. "It's a little early, don't you think?"
"It's never too early." the last of his whiskey dripped into the coffee and he shook the flask before capping it and slipping it into his coat. "Where the hell is he?"
"I tried his mobile. Sends me to voice mail. He called me yesterday after the trial, but he didn't pick up when I called back. I just got a message later that night, telling me to meet him here."
Perfect, Sandor thought bitterly.
His eyes studied Brienne carefully as she sipped gingerly at the hot beverage cupped in her hands, her eyes focused on nothing in particular. When she set the mug down, they met his and he blinked. She held his gaze for a long moment, saying with it what she could not with words. He chuckled mirthlessly with a shake of his head and looked away, the silence between them suddenly becoming deafening to the point of drowning out the indistinct conversations around them.
She fidgeted with her pocket until she came up with a pen. His eyes followed her hands, as one scrolled through her phone and the other scribbled on a napkin. When she slid the napkin across the table to him, he didn't need to ask who the phone number belonged to.
"She called me last night."
"Stay out of it, Brienne."
"This is me staying out of it. I could have given her your number; cut myself out of the equation. But I didn't. I'm giving you hers, and you can wipe yourself with this for all I care."
Before Sandor could snap at her, the mousy waitress stopped by their table with Brienne's breakfast and almost immediately after, Gendry stomped into the cafe and crossed to their table.
"About bloody time." Sandor huffed out as Gendry and the waitress circled each other awkwardly so that Gendry could slide into the both besides Brienne.
Between Gendry's arrival, and the clumsy waitress, Sandor hoped Brienne would miss him snatching the napkin off the table, but when he looked her way, she was staring right at him, seemingly ignoring whatever apology Gendry was muttering out.
"Just coffee." Gendry told the waitress as his eyes darted between them.
"More coffee?" the girl's chipper voice struck the last nerve left on Sandor and he turned to her with a death stare that nearly sent her into the tray of another waitress.
Gendry ignored his mood and Brienne was still eyeing him cautiously when his attention turned to them. "Mind telling us why we're here," he sneered at the boy across from him.
"Something's happened." Gendry cleared his throat, and leaned into the table. "One of Jaqen's men, Anguy," he turned to Brienne and she nodded in understanding, "He knows where Arya is, and I'm going to find her. I think she might be in trouble."
"You believe him?" Brienne asked.
"He's probably lying if he works for Jaqen." Sandor said at the same moment Brienne spoke.
"I didn't believe him at first, especially because the story becomes so unbelievably scifi. I thought about it all night, and this morning I woke up on the fence. But I'm still going. Even if it might be a trap, it will take me to Arya."
"Where?" Brienne asked.
Gendry continued, his eyes attentive of Sandor's face. "I thought a lot about it... didn't sleep a wink last night, and I ended up in London this morning," he turned to Brienne. "I told Daenerys about it. It was hard but I've cut a deal with them. I am going to need you on my side for this one because, well I honestly don't trust that woman. I don't trust anyone. Just you two."
Sandor shook his head and rose, digging into his pocket for a banknote dropping and it on the table. Besides it he dropped a now balled-up napkin containing Sansa's phone number, stealing a quick glance at Brienne before turning to Gendry. "Don't count on me," he told him before stepping out of the booth.
"The promise you made to her... don't you want to keep it?" Gendry stood too.
Rage rose within Sandor at the mention of her. "I have nothing to prove to her or you or anyone."
"You have something to prove to yourself." Brienne snapped from where she sat.
Sandor shook his head, pushing past Gendry and leaving the cafe.
Brienne's words echoed in his thoughts the rest of the day.
She was up before the sun and went out for a jog.
Her head had still been reeling with everything. The jog helped clear it, but as soon as Jaqen's house came into view around a curve, it all washed up. She noticed a fourth car parked behind one of Jaqen's and when she walked into the kitchen she found Anguy sitting at the bar, hunched over a bowl of cereal. When he noticed her, he smiled and squirt of milk flew out the corner of his lips. He began laughing which quickly turned into choking, and then spitting out his entire mouth's contents.
Cat made a face and crossed to a counter to take one of the bottled waters that sat there.
When she turned to Anguy, he was wiping the side of his mouth with an apologetic smile, and sliding off the stool to examine the mess he'd made.
"When did you get back?" Arya tossed him a kitchen towel, which slipped from his clumsy fingers.
"Was it before or after Jack?" Cat caught the bitterness in her voice at the memory of Jack. She had to control that.
"Jack?" Anguy kicked the towel around on the floor with a sneakered foot, wiping over the puddle of milk and cereal chunks.
"It was nothing." Cat lied. "Jaqen took care of him."
Anguy froze. "What?"
The way his voice pitched down to a whisper brought back all the frustration from last night, so she quickly changed the subject. "Like I said. It was nothing. Jaqen can explain it later. How was... whatever it is you went to do?"
"It was interesting." By the sound of his voice it was clear his mind was still on Jack, so Cat decided leaving him would be best.
"Well. It's good to have you back," she told Anguy, and turned for the stairs when she saw Jaqen standing by the kitchen door his eyes going from Cat to Anguy.
"It was an accident." Anguy's voice behind her was slightly more composed.
"Did you take care of everything."
Cat felt the hesitation from Anguy and she knew it was because she was in the room.
"I'll leave you two alone," she said as she crossed to the stairs.
The last thing she heard was Anguy's stiff, "It's all taken care of." and she honestly wish she knew what they were talking about.
Jaime's glared at the grimacing officer through the strands of hair that fell over his eyes.
"It's some blonde woman."
His brows twitched at that. Cersei.
What the hell is she doing here!?
He stood from the stiff bench and followed the man to the visitor's lobby. His chest was in a knot as he waited. When the giant wench walked in and sat across from him on the other side of the glass, Jaime exhaled angrily. He didn't pick up the phone off the receiver, even when the wench had, and was waiting for him to follow suit. When he finally did, neither of them said a word for almost a minute. He could hear Brienne's heavy breathing.
"What the hell do you want?" he finally whispered.
Brienne didn't seem the least bit offended by his irritated tone. She slid forward on her seat, closer to the glass and spoke so softly, he could barely hear her. "You didn't kill Renly."
Jaime's gaze fell. "I did," he matched her tone.
"You dropped the charges. I kidnapped and tortured you! Why? Why would you do that?"
Jaime woke to cold fingers probing and tugging nervously at binds around his wrists. He tried to jerk up, but when he moved his legs he realized they were bound too. He groaned in pain. His head felt split in two.
"Let me go," he attempted to mutter, but not even he understood himself. He shifted his weight on the small space in the back seat of the vehicle until he was on his side and had a clear view of the tall bitch as she slammed the back door closed.
Moments later, she was sitting behind the wheel, and the car was moving forward.
"Where the hell are you taking me?" he tried to sit up, but found himself strapped to the seat with the safety buckle. He inhaled anxiously, trying to calm himself. To think. "I'll bet anything that not even you know."
"Shut up." she whispered under her breath. "Shut up. Shut up."
The car came to a sudden stop and Brienne wrenched her door open. At first Jaime wasn't sure if she was sobbing or vomiting, but then he realized she was doing both. Anguished sobs interrupted by the wet staccato sounds of her retching made Jaime feel pity for the poor girl.
"You should take me back," he said once she'd slammed the closed door after herself and wiped a sleeve over her lips. "You're just burying yourself deeper. Did you not notice whose gun killed Renly? It was yours, Brienne. Yours. Then you flee the scene of the crime and take me as your hostage. Do you understand how this looks? Do you see how easy you're making it for us?"
"The same gun was used to shoot me in the shoulder," she snapped back at him as she shifted gears and the car lurched forward. "Did you think about that?"
Jaime couldn't help but smile, despite himself.
"How many of those people did you really kill?" Brienne's voice in his ear snapped him out of his memories.
"I want you to leave."
"Is it for her? Did you lie for her?"
His eyes met hers. "Yes." he whispered, surprised at how easy it was to admit that to Brienne . The features on her freckly face shifted into sympathy and her eyes glazed over. He didn't need this. Not now.
He'd spent the first night of the rest of his sentence lying in a stiff, uncomfortable bench and had not slept a wink. He did not need some idiot woman's pity.
"Robert's bastard," he muttered out, despite his wish to stand up and leave.
"What about him?" her brows furrowed.
"The boy is in danger." Jaime quickly eyed the officer standing by the door. "I'll be honest with you, he was the only person who was supposed to die in this whole mess. Not the great Ned Stark. Not his wife. Not Renly. Not anyone but Gendry. For his sake, for his... safety, I suggest you pull your nose out of my business and look out for him. He shouldn't trust anyone. Not even the police."
"I am looking out for him. That is why I am here. You're not the one that wants him dead. Your sister is. And she is out there, and you are in here, and..."
Jaime slammed the phone on its receiver, cutting Brienne off mid-sentence.
"Stubborn wench," he said as he stood and met her eyes one last time before turning for the door.
"Stupid, stubborn, brave wench."
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