Summary: A retelling of view of Brienne and Jaime's journey, starting with their capture by the Brave Companions. Set through series 3 (ASOS) up until the finale, canon divergent from that point onwards.
Disclaimer: I don't seek to make any profit from writing this, nor do I intend any copyright infringement.
Pairings: Jaime/Brienne, mentions of Jaime/Cersei, Sansa/Tyrion
Rating: T - M for later content / see warnings.
Timeframe: Series 3 / ASOS & beyond
Warnings - Strong language, strong sexual content for later chapters, violence, (more or less what you've already been exposed to from the books/show).
Brienne had not said a word to him since he had warned her what was in store for her when they stopped to set up camp for the night. They were roped together on horseback, wrist and ankle, back to back, so tightly that Jaime's hands and feet had long since gone numb. At the sound of Jaime's voice, the mummer named Rorge had drawn close to them on his courser, looking them over suspiciously with his too-small black eyes. Jaime had gone silent then, allowing Brienne to think on what he had said, not wishing to give Rorge an excuse to engage with them. He hadn't said it to be cruel - it was simply true. The Bloody Mummers were going to rape her, there was no doubt about that. He wanted her to go to the place deep inside of her where her love of Renly lived and hide there - it was the only way, the only way she would survive it. If she fought them... Jaime didn't want to think about that, he wanted to doze. The wench's back against his was sturdy, and he leaned into her, feeling some relief in his lower back. Years of campaigns and months spent on the march had taught Jaime how to steal sleep in the saddle, but it was even easier with a steady surface to prop him up. Her warmth was pleasant, too.
He would coast the edge of unconsciousness, so near to rest, only to see Rorge's noseless face leering. Or Zollo, his teeth exposed in a lascvicious grin as saliva ran down his ample chins. Or any of the other bloody mummers, their faces hideous and contorted with stolen pleasure. He didn't want to think about it, but he couldn't help it. I've tried to help and she doesn't listen. There's nothing else to be done.
Jaime was uneasy, and his unease grew with the darkening of the sky. If Brienne was worried, she did not share her concerns with him. She had said nothing to him still. Hard-headed wench thinks I was trying to frighten her, he thought. She was so naive. As irritating as it was, it was almost enviable. Brienne's world was not the grey, stark reality Jaime lived in. To her, there was a clear divide between good and evil, honor and dishonor. This Bloody Mummers would change her tonight when they took their turns fucking her - she wouldn't be the same after it, but the deeper inside of herself she managed to go for the duration, the more of herself she would save.
"Brienne," he whispered. He hadn't called her wench, and she turned her head after that sank in. He couldn't see her face when they were bound like that, but he knew she was listening to him. Before he could find a way to put it into words she would take as true, Rorge backhanded him hard across the face. The time had come to set up camp for the night.
Brienne had thought on what Jaime had said for only a moment. She would not do as he advised - even he himself had said if he were a woman, he would make them kill him. She would fight them until her last, they would gain no pleasure from her. When they had stopped to break for the night she had been cut from the Kingslayer and roped to a sentinel tree. He was tied to another, some distance away across the campsite. After a while they were given food. Thin onion broth and a crust of hard bread. Brienne had no appetite and managed only a few mouthfuls. She was thinking of the Stark girls, Arya and Sansa. Of how Lady Catelyn had put all of her hope in Brienne, and how she had failed. Just as she had failed to protect Renly, her king.
It wasn't long before they came for her. Rorge, fat Zollo and Shagwell. She thought she had prepared herself, but when they approached, a bolt of fear struck her. Her heart pounded and she pulled hard on the ropes that bound her. For a moment all they did was leer hungrily, arguing over who would go first, and where. She could feel the Kingslayer's eyes on her as well, and for some reason it was worse that he would see what they were going to do to her. Try to do to her, she corrected, because she wasn't going to let them enjoy whatever they had planned.
Rorge crouched down in front of her, his small brown teeth glistening from the light of the campfire flames as he peeled back his lips in a grin. His voice was slobbery and nasal thanks to his missing nose. "We're going to fuck you bloody, and then, we're going to fuck you again."
Brienne pulled hard on her restraints, her jaw clenched furiously. Rorge pulled at her chest, pinching her breast hard enough to make her shout out despite herself. He cackled at that. "She has got tits after all, somewhere under there."
"Cut it off, let's have a look," Shagwell crowed. Rorge tore at her clothes, and Brienne writhed, struggling to bring her knees up to catch him in the chest when he leaned over her.
"Ah ah," Fat Zollo chided, forcing her legs apart and resting his massive weight on them to keep her pinned. Shagwell was yanking her breeches while Rorge shoved her tunic up with one hand and unlaced himself with the other. Brienne could smell his sour breath. She twisted and writhed and they laughed, spurred on by the fight in her. She was pulling so fiercely on the ropes that bound her then that she was sure she would dislocate her shoulders soon. Shagwell had almost forced her breeches down and she thrashed wildly, her eyes wide, every inch of her the animal caught in a trap.
"Stop," a thin yet stern voice commanded. An instant later, the weight had lifted from Brienne's legs and she raised her knees to smash Rorge in the groin. He doubled over, gasping for breath before he vomited from the agony. Shagwell retreated out of range of her kicks. "Lady Brienne of Tarth, from the Isle of Sapphires, is worth far more untouched," Vargo Hoat stood over them with his dagger drawn. He had pushed Zollo from her, and the fat Dothraki had slunk away, sulking. Brienne was too agitated for his words to sink in, all she knew was that they were no longer forcing themselves upon her. Her heart still raced. "Sapphires," Hoat repeated at his three men. Rorge still lay winded in the undergrowth, groaning softly.
Some time later, she looked over to the Kingslayer. He sensed her eyes on him and met her gaze. He stopped them somehow, she realised. But why?
There was nothing she could do for him, though, no bargain she could strike, when his time came. She could not hear their converation, but she saw well enough how fat Zollo drew his arakh and how Jaime's arm was forced down onto a block. She shouted for them to stop. The arakh flashed silver as Zollo drew it up above his head, and Brienne knew when it had landed. Jaime screamed. The scream was cut abruptly short when the Kingslayer passed out. She heard the hiss of metal cauterizing the wound shut an instant later, sickened to realise that they had all done this before many times.
She slept in stolen moments that night, and awoke feeling worse than if she hadn't slept at all. The sky was still a deep velvety purple in the west, but had grown pink in the east. In the grey dawn light, she searched the campsite for the Kingslayer. He was slumped against a tree, his face turned away so she could not see if he slept or not. Little was said as the group readied for another day of travel. She and Jaime shared the same horse again, as they only had one to spare. They were bound facing each other this time, to the sniggering amusement of the Bloody Mummers. Jaime's eyes stared for a thousand leagues, seeing nothing of what was before him. He's gone to that place inside him, Brienne realised. The place he told me to go. She wondered when he would resurface.
He slipped in and out of consciousness that day, and she had to steady him in the saddle many a time. Eventually she simply left her arms about his waist to keep him anchored. He slumped against her, his forehead resting on her shoulder, and Brienne felt a surge of protectiveness. She had been thinking for hours about what he had done to prevent them from raping her. He didn't have to do that. Indeed, she never expected him to. Slowly Brienne was realsing that there was more to the Kingslayer than she had first thought. His severed hand tied about his neck dangled between them, swaying.
"Water," Jaime croaked, about five hours into the day's ride. He lifted his head, his green eyes struggling to focus on Brienne's face. It was devoid of the arrogance Brienne had previously thought was perpetual. She felt like she was seeing him naked.
"He needs water," Brienne called out.
"He can kiss my arse," one of the Mummers called back.
"He needs water, or he'll die. He has lost a lot of blood-" Brienne argued, stopping abruptly as Vargo Hoat thrust a canteen of water between them. Jaime forgot that they had taken his hand. Brienne winced as he banged his stump against the container. A flash of agony crossed Jaime's eyes before an instant later he slumped against her, unconscious.
When he came round again, Brienne lifted the open container to his lips and helped him to drink. His adam's apple slid up and down, rivulets of water running down his chin and throat as he drank thirstily. Afterwards, he rested again. Water. That was the only thing he said all day.
The next day proved much the same. The day after, a fever was in him. His skin was searingly hot when his face pressed against her neck, and his body radiated a sickly heat. He's dying, she thought, when he began to weep. His eyes did not see the present, he did not react when the Mummers noticed his tears and hooted and laughed. He was deep in the clutches of fever dreams, seeing another time and another place. Brienne coaxed him to drink and pressed a cold, damp scrap of cloth to his burning skin. She kept him alive, just as he had kept her alive when Rorge, fat Zollo and Shagwell had tried to rape her. For days, she washed him and cleaned his wounds, doing her best with what was available to try to stave off infection. The Mummers taunted him, asked him questions about Cersei's cunt, slapped him and crowed about his maimed hand. Jaime's indifference bored them, and by the time Harrenhal was on the horizon they had grown tired of taunting him.
Brienne had tried to protest when Vargo Hoat cut the ropes that bound Jaime to her and forced him to walk behind the mounts, but Hoat had paid no mind to her. Jaime stumbled and gritted his teeth against the pain he was in, but he did not fall. Hoat wanted Jaime to be a spectacle as he was dragged through the gates of Harrenhal. Brienne could do nothing but watch, and silently will him to stay on his feet.