Cersei was pacing before the Iron Throne.
She was alone.
Everyone had abandoned her.
Everyone had betrayed her.
Every step echoed through the empty hall. The sound only made her feel as though she were being chased. As if some unseen monster was right behind her keeping pace.
No! Not unseen! I know who the monster is! Cersei thought. I have always known! Since the day he was born I knew what he was! Monster! Horrid twisted vicious monster! I should have killed him long ago!
There were other sounds in the empty hall as well. She could hear the distant ringing of steel against steel and faint cries of pain or for mercy. Occasionally there was a high pitched roar that sounded clear and seemed to make the very walls tremble.
Dragons! Dragons! Dragons!
When she heard that sound she would stop and clutch herself and whimper. Her instinct was to speak a prayer as she had when she was just a little girl. She had long since forgotten how to pray though. So instead she spoke the names that mattered to her more than the Seven ever had.
"Father, mother, Jaime, Joffrey, Tommen, Marcella." She drew what comfort she could from them. She tried not to remember that only Jaime and Tommen were still alive. Jaime would take their son to safety and then come back for her. He had promised and so he would. Jaime would save her like he always had.
He was the only one she could still trust. Viserys, Littlefinger, Qyburn, Lancel, Sansa Stark, the Kettlebacks, Margaery Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Redwyne, and so many, many other, they had all betrayed her.
"I should have killed them all, all of them. I should have put their heads on pikes! I was a fool to trust them! If only people had done as I commanded! It all would have been fine! I was the only one who ever had any sense. The only one fit to rule. But I was betrayed! Always betrayed always!" She half screamed as she paced even faster beneath the empty throne.
If there'd been anyone to see they would have surely thought her mad.
Some minutes later she heard a different sound that brought her to a stop.
Footsteps outside the main door.
"Jaime? Jaime you've come to bring me to safety?"
The doors were pushed open and her brother stepped forward into the hall.
"Sorry, not Jaime. I hope you're not too disappointed my sweet sister."
Cersei froze in simple terror. The sight of his mismatched eyes and the scarred remnants of his nose horrified and sickened her as nothing else could. She let loose a blood curdling scream and ran for the rear exit behind the throne.
"Oh my, is that any way to treat your little brother after such a long absence?" Tyrion asked. "Here I was expecting warm words and a kiss on the cheek."
"You were probably expecting a bit much then," Lord Bronn said.
"Yes, you're probably right. That's one of my faults. I always expected too much from my family."
Past the two of them sell swords rushed into the great hall and after the Queen Regent.
"Be gentle now," Tyrion called after them. "Remember she is my sister after all."
His men quickly caught her and brought her back to throw down on the floor before him.
Cersei scrambled back to her feet and wanted to get away, but Tyrion's men had formed a circle around the two of them.
"Let me look at you sweet sister, it's been such a long time."
It had been five years. Tyrion had expected her to age a bit but was truly shocked to see her now. Her hair was long and uncombed and had thick streaks of grey in it. He could see bags beneath her eyes and the flesh sagging about her cheeks. With his sharp eye he could notice other parts of her body sagging even behind the gown she wore.
She had always been beautiful. Cruel, spiteful, selfish… but a joy to behold. Now all that loveliness was gone, like a used up whore.
"Sister, I do hate to say this, but do you know you look like shit? You remind me more of an older fisher wife than a queen."
Cersei glared at him hatefully and looked ready to claw him to death.
Even now, Tyrion thought a bit sadly. The easiest way to anger you is to attack your vanity.
"What are you doing here monster?"
"I am here for the whore houses of course, what else?"
That drew a laugh from Bronn and the men and only made Cersei even more incensed.
"Come now Cersei, it must be obvious even to you. I am in service to Daenerys Targaryen, the Stormborn, the Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Dothraki, Queen of Slaver Bay, and Daenerys First of Her Name Queen of the Seven Kingdoms."
"Traitor! You betray your king, you house, your family!"
"Turnabout is fair play sweet sister, you all betrayed me first."
"Liar!" Cersei swore furiously. "You've butchered everyone in our family! Mother, Joffrey, father, uncle Kevan, and Myrcella!"
"You cannot blame me for mother, though I know you always have. I didn't poison Joffrey though looking back on it I wish I had. If I had poisoned that little monster in the crib we'd have spared the kingdom all this useless bloodshed."
"Don't call him a monster you're the monster!"
Tyrion continued ignoring her. "I had nothing to do with uncle Kevan, I liked him and he'd never done me any wrong. I wasn't even in Westeros at the time."
"He was killed with a crossbow quarrel."
"Oh! Then I must have done it as I am the only one in the entire world who knows how to use a crossbow." That produced a few more chuckles from his men. "As for Myrcella she was murdered by Obara Martell."
"You sent Myrcella to Dorne and conspired with the Martells. She must have been your creature."
Tyrion sighed and shook his head. "Why? Do you think our family is so well loved by all the other great houses?"
"You're not," Bronn added helpfully. "About the only folk who like Lannisters are the ones you pay."
"And what of father? Are you going to pretend you are innocent of his death too?"
"No. I killed father. Can you really blame me for that though? I mean he was with a whore."
Cersei gritted her teeth and seethed. "You won't get away with this. Right this minute Jaime will be leading the King's Guard and a hundred Lannister soldiers here to save me."
"Oh my poor, sweet sister, deluded to the very end."
Tyrion reached behind him and tossed something on the floor at Cersei's feet. It glittered and shined in the torchlight.
It was a golden hand.
Cersei lost all the strength in her body and dropped to her knees. She reached out and took hold of the hand that had been attached to the stump of her brother's right hand. "No," she whispered. "You couldn't have killed Jaime. It's impossible even without his sword hand he is still ten times the man you are."
"It was a good thing I had thirty men with me then." Tyrion lost the mocking tone and spoke seriously. "I loved my brother and even though he wronged me I took no pleasure in seeing him die." Tyrion hesitated just a beat. "Nor Tommen either."
"Tommen? You killed him too? My last child?" She felt the tears flowing from her eyes but she had no more rage left in her. Everything was gone; every person she loves was gone. The monster had won.
"There was no choice in that. Just as our father did with the Targaryen children Daenerys needed all the possible claimants to the throne removed. I took no joy in it and he died quick and clean if that means anything to you."
Cersei stared at his ugly face through her tears. "What did she pay you? Tell me what was your reward for slaughtering your brother and my sweet son."
"Queen Daenerys has promised to give me what was always mine by right but which you and father tried to cheat me of; Casterly Rock. I will be head of House Lannister and Warden of the West. Unlike you she is actually a very generous and fair queen. She gave me my birthright even though I only asked for two things when I entered her service."
"What's that?" Cersei asked blearily.
"That I be allowed to rape and kill you sweet sister. Though to be honest I think we'll skip the rape."
Tyrion approached her with his hands stretched out.
A long time ago when she was just a little girl and ugly old witch had told her how she would die; strangled to death by her brother. Since that day she'd fought against that prophesy and lived in constant fear of it.
Now, at the very last, she welcomed the end and only hoped she would be with Jaime and her children again.